The State of Temple's Off-Campus Housing

The streets of Temple University’s off-campus living are… dismal. Trash, abandoned furniture, broke bottles and glass everywhere, empty cans, pizza boxes lay in every corner.

These conditions, however, cannot be blamed on the “neighborhood.” 

These conditions exist from years of neglect and abuse by the hand’s of Temple’s students. Students come for four years, party and trash the surrounding area, and then leave to pursue their new adult lives.

But what they leave behind is filth. A lasting legacy of Temple’s students on the surrounding neighborhood is that of disrespect and disregard to the structures and residence of the area.

Students say “yeah, it’s disgusting, Temple is so dirty.” But how did it get that way? While a lot of , if not most, of the damage and trash left in the immediate area is by students, however, the neighborhood itself has its own systematic issues.

Temple’s surrounding area is that of lower-income families. And as we can see throughout history and even today, the state of lower-income areas are disregarded in the scheme of city upkeep. Lower-income urban areas receive less funding, progressive city projects, tourism, road upkeep, etc. Therefore, you take a part of the city that is often neglected due to the socio-economic status, add a college with off-campus living, and your product is of that below.

Dumping your loose trash on the street for pick up is not only unsanitary, but disrespectful to your neighbors and the condition of your block. Smashing your bottles in the street is not only juvenile, but dangerous. Dropping any can or bottle on the street in a drunken stupor is well, you know the rest.

Here is a collection of photos taken on my walk home from class to my apartment. Debris lays everywhere. Sidewalks are busted, streets have uneven or broken pavement.

The photos were taken on 18th and Berks and Gratz and Berks

What can be done to change Temple’s off campus environment? Is it Temple’s responsibility to control it’s students not directly on campus?

Temple has obviously showed it’s disregard for the health of the communities surrounding it with the building of the stadium, so I don’t believe in the near future administration will speak out. So it's on us.

It is on every off-campus students to behave as adults. You would never treat your own home in this manner, so why do it to the homes of  others?

- Savanna Marino