Every Monday the State College Borough Council meets at 7:30pm downtown. It is my hope that students will begin to go to these meetings as the decisions and discussion that takes place often adversely affects more then half of the students here at University Park.
If you read The Daily Collegian you can see the topics that are usually debated at Borough Council, most recently to allow chickens to be considered as pets in the burrow. However, last night there was discussion and movement by members of the Council to not only increase the fines levied upon people who are detained for underage drinkingm, public urination etc, but to double them.
There is a movement to raise these fines from $300 to $600. Now, I will take the high road first. Laws are laws, and there is no doubt that students do dominate the downtown area on weekends, filling it with intoxicated people who are not the permanent face of State College to the townspeople.
Now I ask, what would State College be without Penn State? The reason that there are so many businesses here, the reason that the town is so prosperous is the the students! Without us here spending our money on tuition, food, and alcohol, the town of State College would not be what it is today.
That being said, is it necessary to hamstring a person for making a mistake in public? Is it possible that the Council is so far removed from that time in their life that they forget what it is like to be in college and have little to no money?
Do they really understand how critical $600 can be in someone’s life who is living not only on a fixed income, but someone who is quite possibly in debt already with loans? A point was argued that, with the increase in fines, there will be a decrease in crimes.
Let’s be honest here, Council. With an increase in fines, there will only be an increase in revenue for you! There is no question that with an increase in fines the Borough will increase its revenue, thereby appearing to be raising new funds when they are really punishing more and more students.
What I want to know is wether the Borough Council is actually concerned about the well being of its residents and students, or are they more concerned with lining their pockets?
Note: The Safeguard Old State Executive Staff does not moderate the comments posted by the public to blog entries. The comments of Safeguard Old State readers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Safeguard Old State.