For today’s social experiment, we ask you to depart the Temple campus–on foot, not vehicle–and proceed to walk East of, say, 9th and Berks for five blocks.
Now walk West of 17th Street on Norris and complete a similar five-block trip to 22d and Norris.
That is what the heart of North Philadelphia would look like without Temple University. That’s pretty much life in a lot of inner cities in America. It’s not the fault of the people who live in them, certainly. In Philadelphia, what the neighborhood looks like surrounding Temple is certainly not Temple’s fault.
The community has legitimate concerns about the new stadium Temple wants to build entirely on Temple property and ask the questions they need to and get their answers. In fact, Temple has pretty much hit on all of the key bullet points–no one will be displaced, the Amos Recreation Center will stay right where it is and the stadium would be available for community events.
Yet the session they asked for turned out to be a Mitten Hall Fiasco. I left work and made it in time to see a group of clergy urging their congregation to listen and the congregation having none of it.
The “stadium stompers” asked for the town hall in the guise of a question and answer session. They never allowed it to get to a Q and A, with loud shouts of “YOU LIE!!” that would not allow the event to continue. It was all a ruse. I would say there were more pro-stadium people in the house than anti-stadium but the pro-stadium people sat in what only could be described as polite silence mixed with nauseating disgust.
Why should other urban
in densely populated
like Georgia Tech in Atlanta
and Boston College
in Chestnut Hill, Mass.,
have stadiums on property
owned by them and Temple
not be allowed the same right?
Temple set only two ground rules for the meeting and it was no signs were allowed and that civility was expected.
One side broke both rules and ruined it for all sides.
Asking for a Q and A and not allowing questions or answers is the very definition of a ruse. This is pretty much the level of discourse in the U.S. today.
Why should other urban universities located in densely populated residential neighborhoods, like Georgia Tech in Atlanta and Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., have stadiums on property owned by them and Temple not be allowed the same right? The community did not protest when Temple built a library, a dorm, $30 million of new classrooms and even a $17 million football practice facility but basketball and football arenas somehow cross an imaginary line because they are hot-button issues. The irony of this is that libraries, dorms and classrooms have an impact on the community 350 or so days a year, while a football stadium impacts it only a maximum seven of the 365 days.
When the great John Chaney was asked what Temple should do in the face of similar opposition to the building of The Apollo (now the LC), he said, simply this: “Temple should pack it up, move to the suburbs, and leave a hole in the ground and a statue of the Mayor and the Council president holding hands.”
The administration should have followed his advice then. On Tuesday, it tried to be a good neighbor, but neighborliness is a two-way street. Nobody can say Temple did not hold up its end of the bargain.
Monday: Spring (Practice) is in the Air
Wednesday: Our New Scheduling Buddies
Friday: The Greatest Cherry and White Ever
Monday 3/19: A Rock and A Hard Place
Wednesday (3/21): The Bullhorn Lady