James Carr, a North Philadelphia native, suggests words of advice to strengthen community ties between Temple students and the community.
On Sept. 6, The Temple News reported that sophomore Robert Eells, 21, was shot as a result of an alleged attempted robbery by a 15-year-old boy. In defense, Eells shot the juvenile. Both were hospitalized. This situation was very unfortunate, but raises a very important question: Why is there so much hostility between Temple students and the community?
James Carr, 53-year-old North Philadelphia native, didn’t know much about the shooting, but said, “Them guys was just totally out looking for trouble. [They’re] 14 and 15 [years old], [they were] out after curfew with a gun. It could have been me, it could have been you and it could have been anybody.”
It is evident that there has been a huge influx of students expanding into the surrounding community as more and more students are choosing to live off-campus, but the university has done little to address this issue. Students and community members must take steps to come to a common understanding and coexist without violence and hostile attitudes toward one another.
“I don’t see much of a problem with the students and homeowners. Most of the problems come from kids and the students,” Carr said. “Kids come from different backgrounds and they don’t understand each other.”
Carr believes that a misunderstanding exists between students and the community because of prejudiced attitudes.
“I’m quite sure when the school has orientation they advise students…who to fraternize with outside of campus and who not to fraternize with,” Carr said. “Everyone that lives in this community isn’t categorized as a bad person or a person that is not school oriented. They might not go to Temple, but they might go to another school. A lot of times that creates conflict.”
However, Carr had an important point to make about building community relationships.
“Wherever you live, if you live on-campus or off-campus, get to [know] the people around you, just like you would in your neighborhood or wherever you reside,” he said.
Kierra Bussey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.