The neighborhood belongs to its community members, not just Main Campus.
Main Campus extends to Diamond Street to the north, Oxford Street to the south, and 11th and Broad streets to the east and west, respectively. Its frequenters, however, are scattered beyond that.
Because the university sprouts from the center of a Philadelphia neighborhood, it is only natural for students’ temporary apartments to be next to family-owned homes that have been lived in for generations.
But as students excitedly settle into new dorms, houses and apartments, they should keep in mind the buildings that surround their new North Philadelphia houses are not places to crash and party. To many of their next-door neighbors, this is home.
Nearly 60 percent of Temple freshmen said their permanent homes are in suburban Pennsylvania, according to the Summer 2009 New Student Questionaire. When they return to their hometowns or move elsewhere after graduation, Roberta Fasion of Jefferson Manors [“Welcome to the neighborhood,” Page 1] will still be taking good care of the same sofa she’s kept for more than 35 years.
Sixty-two percent of freshmen also said the university’s location in a large city was a “very important positive factor” in choosing to attend Temple.
But sharing a sidewalk, regardless of which city it’s in, comes with responsibilities.
Students should be respectful of community resources and traditions, maintain the streets and yards to be litter-free, keep noise pollution to a minimum and participate in some of the community-outreach partnerships Temple has a hand in.
As The Temple News reported today, Temple employees and students have participated in projects such as neighborhood clean-ups, an anti-graffiti initiative and Philadelphia Housing Authority assistance.
These ventures have not only improved the neighborhood’s structure, but also its community members’ view of Temple and its students.
Still, a gap remains.
In order for a significant change to be made, all Main Campus visitors must realize that life-long residents of North Philadelphia take great pride in their community – and as honorary residents, Temple students should too.