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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Does The Borough Hate Freedom?

Student rental season is upon us yet again, and I find myself searching for a new house with my roommates someplace in the State College borough. Recently, I camped out overnight with a few roommates outside of Continental Real Estate — this is the one place left in town that attracts camp-outs based on their first-come, first-served housing system. They use no wait list.

So we camped out, and the next day — this past Wednesday, the State College borough council called the real estate company to complain because of the size of our tent on the sidewalk. This, despite the fact that the other 13 people camping out had tents of fairly similar size. The only difference was that our tent was taller than the rest, and they argued that this caused a traffic hazard.

Fair enough; we were fine with moving off to the side, yet we were told again that we could not even be on the sidewalk any longer. Amazing. I joked with a member of the real estate company about the borough’s strictness, and they seemed to agree, though were definitely guarded. They were listeners of The LION 90.7fm’s public affairs talk program, Radio Free Penn State, where we frequently talk about the ridiculous regulations and anti-student policies of the borough council.

Ultimately, we didn’t get a house from Continental. Later, though, we traveled to another downtown company, and I complained about the three-unrelated rule that the council passed to hamper the living conditions of PSU students downtown. The employees laughed nervously, and I took this as agreement, so I joked, “I think the State College borough council just hates freedom.”

To my surprise, all the workers at their desks (about a half dozen who were within earshot) erupted in applause and the one nearest exclaimed, “Geeze, I hope these guys end up renting from up.” Wow. These people who live and breath business in downtown State College agreed with my audacious statement — if the local government is serious about trying to recruit “young professionals”, then maybe they should make laws that are friendly to the businesses that, logically, would employ those professionals.

But apparently not. At least when it comes to tenets’ and realtors’ rights in the borough of State College, maybe they really do hate freedom…

Read about State College borough controversies of the past:
Students, borough leaders seek housing solution (2004)
Brothel law does not exist, but zoning regulations apply (2003)
USG proposes another housing plan for State College borough (1997)
One answer to housing problem (1995)
Occupancy limit bars spacious homes from living up to potential (1994)

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Unfortunately, the borough council seems to have gotten it into their heads that students are a very negative thing, and that they are all drunks who will set up brothels if more than three unrelated people are allowed to live together in a house. And this is simply not true, despite anything that college themed movies and tv shows may attempt to portray.

ultimately, State college would not exist without us students. The borough council seems unwilling to accept this fact, and even seeks to disprove it by pushing their unwanted ordinances and legislation on the people living in the area.

In this case, it would be nice if the borough remembers where the majority of the tax dollars funding their evil empire come from, and began to act accordingly.

[…] Council has on our lives on a monthly, weekly and sometimes even daily basis. The atrocious “three unrelated rule” is one of the most frustrating examples of the council’s overtly anti-student bias in […]

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