Temple Police recently called off a Halloween block party expected to take place on the 1700 block of Gratz Street on Nov. 1, which an administrator said was due to tension caused by previous parties on that block. Residents of neighboring streets had cited past issues with student parties, including excessive noise during and an abundance of trash in the aftermath.
Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said the cancellation “was the right thing to do considering the climate.”
Temple should be commended for preemptively addressing community concerns and shutting down the party, which, according to Facebook, had more than 11,000 prospective guests.
The discussion about the “climate” of tension surrounding community relations and student partying lacks one component, however: sufficient student input.
There are plenty of students living off campus who do not throw parties or litter the streets with trash. There are plenty of students who, in fact, take issue with sidewalks smelling of their classmates’ urine and streets littered with broken glass.
These students need to speak up. While administrators have told various media outlets that they expect students living off campus to be good neighbors, there is little mentioned in Temple’s Good Neighbor Policy about dealing with a troublesome fellow student. This policy, incidentally, was sent out to residents on Gratz after a community resident said a student used racial slurs against him.
Seeing another student acting poorly toward community residents should be a cause for concern, not just another Friday night. While the Good Neighbor Policy does include language encouraging students to “cooperate with neighbors and authorities,” it ought to also stress the importance of standing up to students who are contributing to tension with the community.
With that guideline in place, students could deal with issues as they arise, instead of letting them escalate to police involvement.