COUNCIL PRESIDENT Darrell Clarke expects to have a bill introduced today that puts stronger demands on landlords and Temple University to take responsibility for the conduct and safety of students who live in off-campus housing.
Saying that the vast majority of Temple students in his 5th District "conduct themselves in a reasonable way," Clarke added:
"There's a core group of students who move into these neighborhoods and don't respect the local community. It's just out of control over there.
"Every weekend, there are parties, noise and public urination, and people are waking up to find beer bottles."
The Clarke bill would amend a city ordinance to add his district to certain off-campus student-housing areas designated as "Educational Housing Districts."
The existing law applies to sections of the 4th District, near St. Joseph's University, and the 8th District, near La Salle.
Also creating concern is the haphazard manner in which many students put out their trash, Clarke said.
"Every time there's a change in semester, students put the trash out every day of the week, and it's costing the city of Philadelphia a lot of money to pick up the rubbish," he said.
Temple spokesman Ray Betzner said the university has been working with Clarke to address neighbors' concerns and is reviewing the bill.
Betzner said Temple president Neil D. Theobald and Student Government president Ray Smeriglio issued a joint letter to students yesterday reminding them of expectations about their behavior "and our collective commitment to the community around us." Temple's Homecoming Weekend begins tomorrow.
The current law calls for a landlord who is cited twice in three years to lose the license to rent.
"There is a problem, I confess there is a problem," said Nick Pizzola, a landlord who has rented to Temple students for eight years.
But Pizzola said Clarke's bill unfairly punishes landlords:
"Why should I lose my ability to rent because of the behavior of my tenant? I would like to see tougher enforcement [by Temple] of students who are repeat offenders."