For my deliberation attendance, I came to a presentation about downtown State College relations by another RCL class. In their discussion, they included 3 different approaches to discuss overall safety, social and economic interaction, and local government. Although I was only one of four guests at the deliberation, the discussion was very informational and helpful for the future of campus and downtown interactions.
While discussing safety investments for both campus and downtown, one situation that was brought up was the issue with Penn State students alcohol consumption, especially in events like State Patty’s Day. One question that was addressed was whether police should focus their efforts on controlling the students through arrests or ensuring their safety without repercussions of underage drinking. The team of students involved in this approach was very well informed and initiated discussion well.
In the issue of social and economic interaction of the State College community we discussed how our campus and downtown interact with one another. One student talked about the issue of overloading businesses during the school year while losing almost all business in the summer sessions. This is an important aspect of how downtown business function and can support a student economy.
In the final approach, we brought up the issue of local government involvement from students. Some of the class members believed that students should have representation within the State College borough, while others believed that we don’t have this right as students. Because we are only members of this community for the four years during college, some question how involved the students should be with impacting local policies.
Overall, this deliberation was very interesting but it was unfortunate that there were not many guests in attendance. It was especially difficult to discuss community relations without any community members to compare thoughts with. They all prepared well for the deliberation and provided interesting perspectives on their issue of downtown relations.