President Theobald Striving to Change ‘off-campus behavior’
WRITTEN BY: ZURI HOFFMAN
Many Temple students were shocked to wake up to an email about two weeks ago from the University’s President Neil D. Theobald notifying students of new policies. Although the second semester of the academic year is dwindling down, Temple is not going to wait to start cracking down on reducing off-campus party behavior and alcohol offenses.
When sophomore student Anthony Best was asked about the surprising email he immediately said, “This is all about the stadium isn’t it?”
The goal of the university’s new policies are designed to keep off-campus parties under control and improve issues between Temple students and the surrounding community – especially in light of the community issues surrounding the Temple stadium. The university seems to be taking the complaints of community members pretty seriously as this new policy is designed to improve “quality-of-life” issues within the neighborhoods near campus.
Some of the new initiatives will include an increased monitoring from campus safety to assure safe and controlled parties and gatherings, especially during Thursday through Sunday. Additionally, there will be a revised Code of Conduct that increases the fine students will have to pay for alcohol violations, second and third offenses will rise to $750 and $1,000. The university will also no longer “credit” students if they are also fined from the city for the same incident, which will drastically increase the amount students will have to pay for these violations.
Under these new initiatives, “Any resident (i.e., anyone who lives at the residence or whose name is on the lease) of a house where a party is being hosted may be charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code regardless of whether or not they were at the party. Fines may be as high as $1,500 per resident of the party house, and the university will decide if suspension or expulsion is warranted.” The bottom line is if you get out of control, you will have to pay.
“I definitely think it’s reasonable. It’s a pretty steep fine, especially for regular students so I think it will deter a lot of students,” said Best, “but of course people are going to do what they want anyway. And those people will serve as the example.”
With nearly 13,000 students living in off-campus housing and about 5,500 students on campus, this new authoritative policy is designed to keep the university in control of it’s many off-campus students. As part of the email students received, the message stated, “As private developers have increased the number of apartments available to students in the neighborhoods around Main Campus, we have seen a disturbing rise in disrespectful and disruptive behavior by a relatively small number of students. This type of behavior is unsafe and unacceptable. Temple University has a responsibility to take a strong stand.”
On the subject matter, transfer Junior Dominic Barone said, “I didn’t really read the email that much to be completely honest. I’m 23 so it doesn’t really affect me at all because I’m responsible and I know I won’t get out of hand. But, I do think that if a bunch of people do get hit hard unfortunately they will have to be the examples and then I think everyone will just follow in suit and be chill.
“Because there are going to be Frat parties that are going to get out of control and I think that kind of has to happen sometimes,” Barone explained. “But, for the good of the student body, a good party is good sometimes to distress.”
Although this message comes at a seemingly odd time in the semester, according to a Philly.com report, since the middle of March, the university has had nearly 470 student alcohol violations who have already been charged. With this increase, the University has been getting a lot of flack from much of the community, especially for those who disapprove of the on-campus stadium.