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The View from the Valley

An Exploration into Town-Gown Relations

The gap between Town and Gown Grows

There is no doubt that there is a gap between the views of town and gown.  The towns people are well represented by the CDT, and the students more so by the Daily Collegian.  I found a piece on the CDT’s website, that illustrated this perfectly.

“But, hey the Nittany Lion faithful had a right to party. The football team had never won a Big Ten game at the Horseshoe. A celebration is called for no matter who has to pick up the bill for cleaning up the mess. Right? Wrong.

I had to chuckle this week as I heard a co-worker, a Penn State graduate, say something along the lines of, “Those kids don’t know how to riot. We did it much better when we were in school.”

Now, there’s something to be proud of.

Another explanation I heard for last week’s destruction was that Penn State fans haven’t had a really big road win to celebrate since a 1999 triumph against Miami. Maybe that’s more an indictment of the program, but is it a reason to start breaking things?

Call me crazy, but what’s wrong with having a celebration where the fans just celebrate? Display your school colors, scream for joy, sing the school song or high-five your buddies and the rest of the crowd.

Isn’t the whole thing supposed to be about the “joy” of the moment?”

There is such a vast gap between “us” and “them” that needs to be bridged, it is up to us as students to work with them, not to create such standoff, or controversy with the town that tries to welcome us into their community.  If we expect any kind of respect, or voice in their community, we must show them the respect that we strive for, and not destroy the work they do.

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