New Law Seeks to Contain Unruly Temple Students

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.


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Chris Lipczynski

A graduate of Temple University, Chris Lipczynski continually spreads himself too thin, endeavoring in documentary films, “computer music,” first-person shooters, and manly hikes through the wilderness. Follow him on Twitter for daily musings and meaningless philosophical reflections: @RealChrisFlip.

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  • Anonymous

    This is absurd. I understand that as college kids, we’re “free from high school” and have that mentality of “we can do what we want” but there is no way that this is mainly Temple Students. Heck I was doing a delivery the other day and a hobo came literally can to the next stoop I was at and began urinating.

    Not to mention that the residents of north Philly hate Temple Students, and by that I mean white people. Call me racist but I was walking back to my house which is off campus and a women I walked past began swear at me, calling me racial slurs like a “White Nigger” and telling me to get out of their neighborhood. As far as I’m concerned, I pay rent there so I can live there.

    In the end, Expanding the surrounding Temple area will be a huge plus, not just for the campus but for the community as well. It will clean up the litter infested lots and push out the crack houses and crack heads. If building is allowed there then north Philly can be revived from what it used to be back in the day.

  • Andrew

    Real pragmatic. If this is even effective it’s only going to push Temple kids deeper into the area he’s trying to keep them out of.

  • Sterling04420

    let me get this right, you want to keep the only thing keeping that area of the shitty alive from expanding… that area is a shithole, i mean a dangerous shihole. there was not a night i did not hear gunfire. public urination versus the gunshotts…hmmm
    temple is the only thing keeping that crack hole alive, temple wanted to move out to the burbs in the early 70s but the city stopped them b/c they said the area would implode.
    i still remember the sip and go on the corner of diamond and broad, the same locals complaining are the ones that walked in and shot the owners son in the face and you want to stop the students b/c of partying

  • anonymous

    Temple U should be kicked out of Philadelphia. I’m only 30 and I think they are the rowdiest gang of hooligans second only to the flash mobs we have. There should be curfew for people under 25 in North Philly,


    What joke that this city can’t solve its urban problems so it resorts to building and renting out homes to college kids? Instead of cleaning up the neighborhoods and building homes for people to move into the community so that they can work and contribute to the success of the city we want college kids to run a lawless community of stupid retards. I went to college to and I lived on and off campus but we never destroyed a neighborhood or make the residents there regret letting us live there. College kids do not pay property taxes and so therefore have no vested interest in preserving a community. The property owners are the tax payers of any community and they have a right to a clean, safe, and quiet neighborhood simple as that. The fact that the city of Philadelphia twists its zoning laws when it sees fit is the reason why the city has this issue. Off campus housing should be limited to a short distance from the campus and a limited radius around the campus. Not where ever the deep money pockets demand that housing be built.

  • edgamacatedtemplestooodent

    for all of you “haters” i bet you dont hate the new movie theater the new mall the new stores and all the clean up happening by temple but so some college kids are peeing on your house… so what! so is the bum who sleeps in your backyard…oh wait there is no bum in your backyard? probably because temple money funds the increased police patrols ridding the area of all the crackhead bums (probably you “haters”)…10 bucks says you litter and pee outside just as often as the typical college kid..

  • Rjones

    Darrelle Clarke is a complete dumbass.  There was recently a meeting regarding these matters and he didn’t even show up.  Get him out of here.

  • George

    The author’s casual attitude toward bad behavior that affects others suggests he still has some growing up to do.

  • Will

    Typical , blame the students not the area. North Philly used to be The place to live thats why the Athelitics set up their ballpark there. The reason the residents are complaining is because to many non-black faces are moving in. I saw a Chinese takeout built into a Brownstone, hell of a waste of what was a beautiful home. There needs to be a mental cleanout as well as a housing cleanout.

  • Bob

    They wonder why all college grads from this area get jobs outside of where they went to school….

  • Ah2

    the neighborhood is made up of section 8 housing.  At least building more student housing will bring in residents that will spend money and contribute to the the local economy.  Plus the generalization in this article is very evident, Fuck you Chris you’re a poor journalist and no one cares about your faggy passion for art and film.

  • Temple Tuff

    Temple should have moved out of the city when it had the chance. It stayed and invested and it gets this kind of treatment. Every State college has problems of this sort, believe me. Shoot the goose that lays golden eggs in North Philly which is otherwise a drug infested armpit and corpse of an urban sewer

  • EastCoastChill

    for the first time in years the area is looking up and they want to stop the progress????  The bigger Temple gets, the better off the community.  I’m sorry if there are some people complaining, but a few rowdy kids compared to drug deals and murders?  


    If you don’t live in the Temple area, or you aren’t a student at Temple you should have NO opinion on this matter. Almost all of the comments below are correct. 
    As far as you being a Temple grad and writing this article; I’m ashamed your a fellow graduate.
    It would be a lie and unreasonable to say the parties don’t get out of control, but wake up. That’s every large university’s issue. It just so happens other large universities aren’t directly mixed in with the neighborhood.
    I lived off campus for two years with five other friends, who didn’t care so much for the parties. I was a pre-nursing student and had to study almost all weekend every weekend. Who kept me up at night almost 90% of the time? THE NEIGHBORS. They would sit outside and drink and carry on all night, sometimes even sitting directly on our stoop, even though they had their own. They sold drugs for our door because the cops wouldn’t get suspicious if people came to the steps to visit. At first we were afraid to say something, but finally we threatened them to make them stop doing it. 
    Everyone wants to talk about racism these days. What no one wants to talk about is that BLACKS in that neighborhood particularly are racist AGAINST WHITES. They are complaining because they hate that white kids are moving in. They hate that they can’t control the neighborhood (more students = more Temple cops). If you believe anything other than the fact that TEMPLE IS A BLESSING to that neighborhood (offering more jobs, better surroundings, and money that goes to the city) you are so ignorant you need a reality check.
    finally — “from digging their Natty-Light soaked fingers further into the surrounding neighborhood” I believe, as you stated above, you had Natty-Light soaked fingers as well so what makes you so much better than the students your writing about? “You were known for your parties” HA! 

  • Dan G.

    Too many blacks being accepted to Temple…thanks EOP, Affirmative Action

  • Stevie

    I would rather have a bunch of college kids move in rather than a bunch of drug dealing, welfare monkeys.  Figga deal?

  • Chris Flip

    Gee, thanks. 

  • Chris Flip

    I don’t support or renounce the billl; I simply stated the facts. Temple gets pretty crazy and I saw it first hand. My only opinion here is that the poor environment lends itself to reckless behavior. And you’d be silly to think my line about Natty soaked fingers was anything but a casual joke.

  • Cash 50

    Wite ppl stink.  Dats why we dont want em her.e  We taking over jus watch.  Obama is the begining, we gonna take over America and turn it around.  No more gredy whites.  Everyone will b free.

  • Awotwe_powell

    i agree with you, instead of mr clarke investing his time and energy into stopping the violence and cleaning up the neighborhood, his focus is to ban off campus housing. also a while back he was trying to introduce a law banning satelite dishes from being on top of homes,calling them a blight issue while run down properties litter his district. the people who complain about college parties and student behavior are the same ones who turn a blind eye to the open air drug sales, 13 yr old children running the streets at 2 in the morning and shootings in broad daylight.

  • AXP Grad

    “……..another heinous incarnation of AXP ‘.    Ours boys REPRESENT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Panjbuilder

    I have renovated over 10 shells. No locals were going to
    step up. By renovating them, I stopped the decay to the homes on either side. I
    would guess property values have increased by 200%. My 1st place
    cost $5K they now sell for $130K. The “hood” has benefited nicely from my
    efforts. It’s like tooth decay and now you want to get rid of the dentist!

  • TempleOwl

    I am a temple student, and I currently live off campus on Park Ave. I strongly disagree with the assertion that we (The students, and University) are the problem with North Philadelphia.

  • Guest

    We should ban all the bums and neighbors living in North Philly that are rude hogs to us college students. If we weren’t there who else would give money back to the area. The locals don’t. Besides the college students aren’t asking for money, stealing cell phones, smashing our cars, and getting in the way. If you every looked I see more bums going the bathroom all over themselves and our city. 

  • Msmckeon

    HAHA its funny i live north of Campus and i have a shotgun! Too right about this stuff!

  • Itphilly

    You should have taken more classes.  Your writing is horrible.

  • Mark Schlee

    Darrelle Clark is a joke…. If the neighborhood around Temple was so wonderful where one didn’t need a gun to protect oneself, where the crack addicts and drug addicts were not running the corners,— Even the new housing around 9th and Jefferson and vicinity is going down as the quality of people moving in is the same bunch of outlaws that lived there before. I don’t think it’s the people in the neighborhood I believe its Darrelle Clark trying to find a divisive issue.

  • Anonymous

    Darrell L Clarke is a genius. Everyone knows that crack houses are far
    more visually appealing than brand new apartment buildings being rented
    by students. What a douche bag.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, if you can’t spell, at least use spell check.  You’re butchering the English language.

  • Anonymous

    YOU went to college?  Didn’t they teach you the difference between to, too and two?

  • mr

    Maybe its just me, but if I had a house there, I would get out some paint, and make myself some money.  Diamonds pushing up between your toes, and you dont even want to reach down to pick it up. 

  • Chris Flip

    I went there all the time. 

  • Willrshaw3

    Really? Temple is the plight of North Philadelphia? Really? Perhaps the city should declare martial law around Temple to clean up the concrete jungle that is North Philly.

  • WTF

    North Philly needs a high yield nuke dropped on it….Problem Solved :)

  • The Moop

    I’d think the residents would prefer public urination and loud music to murder and robbery.  I guess what do I know?

  • The Moop

    “As far as you being a Temple grad and writing this article; I’m ashamed YOUR a fellow graduate.”

  • jay

    In fact, the movie theater and the new stores are finally restoring an area which was once prosperous, until 1964 when mobs of locals attacked the many white-owned businesses along Columbia (now Cecil B. Moore) Ave.

  • Jack

    how about the dead bodies left on the streets by the residents,,,any law against that, lol

  • Jconboy

    So true what you say, as someone raised in N.Philly, I support Temple’s housing expansion and area development, but kids will be kids and maybe a intensivied awareness campaign addressing the history and current status of the community would help them be more concious of where they chose to spend the BEST time of thier lives.

  • j

    This is BS, don’t blame the students for the crappy neighborhood they live in. I talk to my wife all the time about the Temple bubble and how its only safe if you are on campus and the second you step off even across the street its really dangerous. At times the thugs from the area spill into the bubble and make it look like Temple students are thugs. I am sure there might be a few but for the most part the crap is coming from the cops being scared to be cops or being payed to look the other way. Philly cops need to either step up and be cops or burn their uniforms and stop playing cops and robbers.

  • Ron

    So they’d rather have robbery, rape and murder than public urination and littering.  Littering???  Are you serious??  Just watch the locals in that area-  the friggin world is their trashcan.

  • Colleeen926

    I am a current Temple student and one of the reasons students have to live in the neighborhoods is because Temple has very limited housing- only freshmen are guaranteed. The choices are commute, live in an overpriced, small Temple sponsored housing, or live in the neighborhoods around campus. Yes, Temple students party, but North Philly residents are not blame free. How about we’ll stop having parties when the residents stop mugging my friends, asking me for money, and yelling sexual things at me everytime I walk down the street?

  • The Drama King

    now how would they decorate with such a law put into effect?

  • demos

    This argument is flawed in that you’re forgetting the property owners you refer to include the owners of housing rented to students. Also, the neighborhood was a high crime, dirty neighborhood well before Temple students began living in it. This legislation is a near-sighted way for Clarke to please the non-student residents in his district. Temple is a good thing for North Philadelphia, but change in this matter is inevitable. Besides, these few blocks around Temple have nothing to complain about, they should talk to State College residents.

  • Me99

    Councilman Clarke is right! Ban student housing so there is more room for the 14 and 15 year old girls pushing strollers down the street to live…subsidized of course. Then they can have more babies so they can get more money on their access cards, which they will sell to the corner store owners for 50 cents on the dollar. This makes so much more sense then having investors fix up deteriorating row homes, and actually pay taxes and utilities. Oh wait, don’t forget the streets department which is having a field day writing trash citations against student houses while ignoring the trash in front of a house owned by a local resident…after all, why write them a ticket because they won’t or cant afford to pay it. This all makes so much sense, there is no doubt converting a rotting neighborhood into off-campus housing offers nothing to the community. Councilman Clarke should be nominated for some special award, do they have one for Village Idiot of the Year?

  • guest

    as a now former student i would like to say that my local neighbors on 18th street used put their dirty diapers in the empty lot next to their house.  enough said

  • guest

    local north philly residents dont pay thier taxes.  dont be silly.

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    I couldn’t agree more with what panjbuilder said. After he renovated the area, the value of real estate boomed to over double. Like he said, you don’t take tooth decay away by firing the dentist.

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