Underneath a tree surrounded by empty Budweiser cans, Tamika Jacobs, LaMont Brown and George McBride sat on a bench bordering the basketball courts on 16th Street and Susquehanna Avenue, shading themselves from the Saturday morning sun.
“[Temple students] had me cracking up last night,” Brown said, grinning. “I said, ‘Where y’all going? Where’s the party at?’ and they said, ‘We’re trying to find it.’”
Weekend after weekend for 36 years, Jacobs has been observing students “trying to find the party” throughout the school year. But her scrutiny remains focused on the Temple Police.
“[Students] come down here with kegs and six packs and parties up on the roof and all that,” she said. “If we were to party up on the roof, the whole police station would be down here.”
Brown shook his head in agreement, pointing to the corner of the block where someone was arrested the day before for drinking beer in public.
“It’s a double standard,” he said.
While Jacobs said she doesn’t mind most students, the double standard is a growing problem.
“If we walked out here drinking a beer, they’re locking us up,” Jacobs added, her voice rising. “But if [students] do it, there’s nothing being done at all.”
McBride’s home neighbors seven houses rented by Temple students. Relatively quiet, McBride said they only get noisy when “they party on the weekends,” so he remains unfazed by students.
“[North Philly will be] a community within a college community,” McBride said, “most of them who go to college might end up staying here.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.