President Wingard explores campus solutions on bike rides through the neighborhood

Temple University President Jason Wingard, campus security officers and university officials gathered last Tuesday afternoon for a bike ride through neighborhoods surrounding Main Campus to gather insights on issues faced by community residents and students.

Last Tuesday’s bike ride came just a few weeks after President Wingard met with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw to discuss campus security solutions. Meeting residents, Wingard said, is another effort in the ongoing mission to improve campus security.

“Today we will ride our bikes nearby and engage in dialogue with members of our community,” Wingard said before the ride. “We want to learn – how can we be better neighbors. How can we be better partners? How can we work together to create effective solutions in this community that we share?”

The group met with many old residents of Northern Philadelphia, including Guadalupe “Lupe” Portillo, who has lived in her home on Norris Street for more than 70 years. In her experience living near campus, Portillo said she believes Temple provides many security resources that students can rely on, such as the free evening shuttle service FLIGHT, but that students should use it more carefully when they move late at night through the weeks.

“Common sense goes a long way,” said Daniel Eidenzon, Class of 2023, an actuarial science major and Portillo’s neighbor who listened to the discussion with President Wingard.

Image by Jason Wingard with student Daniel Eidenzon and Guadalupe Portillo.
Temple student Daniel Eidenzon listened to the conversation between his neighbor, Lupe Portillo, and President Wingard last Tuesday. (Photo: Joseph V. Labolito)

The group also stops at community centers such as the Norris Community Resident Council and the Amos Recreation Center – places where neighborhood residents want to see more involvement from Temple student volunteers.

Jay Marrow, who serves on the advisory board for Amos, said the center suffers from a lack of funding, and that she believes temple students can fill that gap by volunteering.

“I would love to see the temple students come and help the kids here after school,” Marrow said. “Students are users of the rehearsal center, but they have not volunteered to help in the rehearsal center. I would love to see things like that, to see that they help the kids with things like learning how to play Monopoly. “

Marrow also sees volunteering as a way to build a community in a neighborhood that has a mix of old residents and temple students.

“This rec center would be a perfect hub for a lot of things to go through, and you could introduce the people in the neighborhood,” she said. “Those old people, who have been here for a while, still do not know who those students are. Introduce them. Give her things to do. Bring them in. “

Among the group was Jacob Golden, Class of 2022, who serves as the Chief Officer for External Services for Temple Student Government. Golden said last Tuesday’s event was productive because it allowed university officials and stakeholders to talk to residents about solutions around the world, such as encouraging landlords to install additional lighting and other security measures for student housing.

“We need to get input, as we’re getting input from you all right now, about what Temple can do and what the city can do,” Golden said.

“Now we have the landlord subsidy program to do something like install lights so we can increase lighting in the community,” he continued. “That’s something we need to continue to talk to the residents about and ask, what could be different?”

Image of President Wingard meeting with community members at Amos.
President Wingard and Temple student Jacob Golden discussed solutions with community members at Amos Recreation Center. (Photo: Joseph V. Labolito)

President Wingard was inspired by the perspectives of residents. “The fact that so many people in the community made themselves available, showed that they cared, showed that they wanted to participate, that was the intent of the ride today,” he said. “These are issues that affect us all, and I was glad they were there to talk about and brainstorm about collective solutions.”

At the end of March, Temple announced a new round of campus security improvements, including the Landlord Security Upgrade Scholarship Program, plans to set up a neighborhood watch program, and an update on hiring additional Temple University staffers. Police officers.

More information about Temple’s security initiatives is available at temple.edu/safety.


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