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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

State College Admits: We’re Nothing Without Students

Adam Smeltz of the Centre Daily Times reported earlier this week on the “coma” that State College suffers through during the Spring Break holiday —  a time when nearly all of the 42,000 Penn State undergrads, as well as their roughly 6,000 professors — leave town to enjoy warmer climates and relaxing breaks.

Let’s take a quick look at what happens to State College when us kids jet out of town:

The State College Floral Shoppe: “Owner Linda Johnson is staying open just four hours a day this week. ‘It’s a time of year you catch up on everything else … on everything you let go during the holiday season,’ Johnson said. She said she loses more than half her usual business during the break.”

The Fraser Street Deli: “Has cut back its regular 12.5-hour schedule to five hours a day. Taylor Watkins, a Penn State student who works there, stuck around to earn some money this week. ”

The Student Book Store: “Saw just 10 customers — if that — during its first hour of business Tuesday, worker Nathan Laird said. ‘This time (on Monday), I don’t think we had anyone,’ said Laird, a Penn State student. General Manager John Lindo said the book store trimmed its usual staff by about 60 percent this week, to 15 or 20 workers.”

Pugh Street Parking Garage: “Held cars in just 150 of its 486 spaces.”

The Diner: “No diners were there when a reporter swung by in late morning, and the place was slated to close by 3 or so.”

The State College Borough Water Authority: “Pumps about a million gallons fewer than normal, Executive Director Max Gill said. That reflects a decrease of about 20 percent.”

Garbage Collection In The Borough: “Drops about 40 percent, according to borough Operations Manager Eric Brooks. He said the borough collected about 150 tons of trash during spring break last year — well below the 242-ton weekly average.”

Essentially, we see that State College is essentially crippled for a week each year when Spring Break hits. Businesses closing at 3PM, public services decrease by 40 percent or more. A million gallons fewer water used, no customers in the diner, 1/4 of the parking garage in use, etc.

Yet consistently, what Chris Buchignani has dubbed “The Groupthink Gang” on the State College Borough Council consistently bashed students, as do many State College area residents. They decry our bad behavior, they tell us we don’t deserve our fraternity houses, they tell us, essentially, to get out of town.

Well, if we really did pick up and leave, State College might as well not be on the map, because these folks need us. So next Elizabeth Goreham or Catherine Dauler condemns us for one thing or another, let’s refer them here to Safeguard Old State, and tell them enough is enough.

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