BY DAN WANSER
There has been no shortage of controversy at Temple University this year.
Between the ongoing plans for a football and the renaming of the Founder’s Garden to “O’Connor Plaza”, students and board members have found themselves on different sides of the aisle.
At the state of the university address late last month, President Englert announced that the university was going to continue moving forward with its plan to build an on-campus football stadium.
Englert says the feasibility study for this “multi-purpose facility”, which would also hold retail shops and classrooms, should be completed by the end of this calendar year.
These statements sparked outrage among some students and community members. The Stadium Stompers, a group against the construction of the stadium, held a protest outside of Sullivan Hall during a board meeting about the proposed plan.
The group fears that the stadium will cause gentrification and disruption for the residents of North Philadelphia.
Sophomore Sports Management Major Amelia Siwa supports the protests.
“I’m against [the stadium]” said Siwa. “As of right now Temple has relatively good ties to the community but I feel like if they start doing all this construction and expanding the campus’ range I think it will start to heat things up”.
Temple University also dedicated its renovated Founders Garden/Alumni Circle area to Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick J O’Connor. Temple and Mr. O’Connor began to face controversy after students discovered that O’Connor has represented Former Trustee Bill Cosby against some of Cosby’s sexual assault allegations
O’Connor represented Cosby in court that ended in settlements. O’Connor is not currently representing Cosby.
The renaming has left a sour taste in the mouths of many students, including Jay Neemeyer, a sophomore journalism major.
“I do think that it’s kind of fishy that he chose to involve himself in a sexual assault case defending the accused and that the university isn’t distancing itself from all of that” said Neemeyer. “I think the fact that he’s giving so much money to the university is an ethical issue in that they’re not naming the plaza based on merit necessarily as much as who helps fill the budget.”
As of October 23, Temple University will continue with the construction of the stadium and the university has no intention of renaming O’Connor Plaza.