Temple has had its share of community issues in the past.
In a letter to The Temple News this week, Yorktown resident Pam Pendleton-Smith said she has been “victimized by the bad behavior and disrespect” of Temple students entering the community south of Main Campus.
Main Campus has its undesignated boundaries. Temple students should be entering these communities for reasons more than just heading to a house party.
Being located in North Philadelphia gives students plenty of opportunities to volunteer in their community – and few excuses not to.
A few blocks south of campus is the North Broad Street Senior Center. As The Temple News reports, the senior center is always in need of volunteers [“Senior center builds community,” Chelsea Calhoun, Sept. 9, 2008]. By simply taking a few hours out of a week, students can give a youthful insight to North Philadelphia seniors – a truly invaluable experience for all parties involved.
Welcome Week’s FreshServe event was a commendable introduction to community service for incoming freshmen. Activities included cleaning up empty lots, painting fences and volunteering at local recreation centers. Let’s see more.
You’ve decided to make Philadelphia your home for the next few years. Why not give back and beautify it?
It is this commitment to giving back that students should take away from their Temple careers.
In the past few years, Temple has made strides in community relations. This has been enforced this past summer with the addition of Kenneth Lawrence, Jr., who began last week as the senior vice president for government, community and public affairs. In his new position, one of his goals is to strengthen the relations between Temple and its surrounding communities.
He’s even been endorsed by Mayor Michael Nutter as a positive addition to the Temple administration.
One of the first items on Lawrence’s agenda should be to engage students in community activities. Encouraging students to give back to what is now their community will not only show appreciation to locals, but also provide an experience one cannot get from a professor’s lecture.
And, for purposes of leading by example, we’d like to see Temple administrators doing their part, as well.
In order for Temple to maintain any positive tradition in the community, the faces of Temple – from Lawrence to President Ann Weaver Hart – should actively take interest in the community.
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and Temple could be considered its own. It’s time for the entire Temple community to provide for those living beside us.