Temple students are known throughout North Philly for their rowdy behavior and now a newly proposed law is seeking to corral the expanding student body from digging their Natty-Light-soaked fingers further into the surrounding neighborhood.
Councilman Darrell L. Clarke would like effectively ban new student housing around Temple’s main campus in North Philly. If enacted, construction for Temple housing would be prohibited from 19th to 9th Street between Girard and Lehigh Ave. The councilman has cited numerous complaints of outlandish behavior from Temple students ranging from public urination to littering. (That can’t be the worst of it. He probably meant littering with the intent to distribute.)
Developers have taken issue with the proposal as it would likely infringe upon the annual wave of cash-wielding renters eager to find suitable housing off campus that doesn’t require a shotgun. But critics also claim the law would stall progress in the neighborhood as new development rids the community of abandoned and dilapidated houses that traditionally facilitate all sorts of nefarious desires So it seems N. Philly residents are faced with the rather pleasant option of either living next to the devil’s playhouse or another heinous incarnation of AXP.
As a former Temple student, I can attest to Temple’s fabled party antics. My friends and I lived on a small street near 17th and Diamond and before we even moved in, some asshat decided to pee out of our front window and immediately catch the ire of our neighbors. We were known for our parties that would usually end with a brawl in our basement- a quaint little dungeon that always had a slick covering of beer and sweat on the floor (this made for some hilarious spars). Nevertheless, our neighbors were friendly and aside from the occasional suggestion to not defecate in front of their families, everything was cool.
While the trouble from Temple students is clearly no fault but their own, I can’t help but think that the state of the surrounding neighborhood lends itself to reckless abandon. It’s hard to tell yourself public urination is wrong when you’re doing it next to a toilet someone dumped next your house in 1985.