City Council President Darrell Clarke, who presides over much of Temple, proposed legislation last week to handle unruly students who live off campus.
The bill, which is a result of continuing complaints from the North Philadelphia neighbors, would claim the surrounding area as an “educational housing district.” This means that the legislation would impart partial responsibility on students’ landlords and parents for unacceptable behavior including public drunkenness and related issues.
If a house is cited three times or more for unruly behavior, the landlord of the property could lose his or her rental license.
But, it is not a landlord’s nor a parent’s responsibility to babysit a student – a legal adult – once he or she makes the decision to live off campus.
If a student displays unacceptable behavior – be it harassment, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct or the like – blame should not be placed on any other party except for the one that committed the action.
Clarke is not focusing on the root of the problem but rather outside factors. Instead, any student who commits an action mentioned above should be arrested or fined like any other resident of the city. Special treatment should not be awarded for them while scolding others.
A landlord potentially losing his or her rental license for the actions of his or her tenants is not a viable solution. He or she does not have any control over who decides to rent property, Philadelphia law do not allow landlords to discriminate or deny potential tenants housing.
A landlord could get stuck with a rowdy partier or tenacious studier. The only way a landlord could take action against a tenant would be if he or she stopped paying rent. He or she does not have influence over a student’s behavior.
Clarke should treat college students like the adults that they are, and if there continues to be disruption around Temple, blame should not be placed on those who have little to no control over the situation.