Student housing at Towson StateCouncilman Douglas B...

the Forum

August 31, 1993

Student housing at Towson State

Councilman Douglas B. Riley's proposed legislation to strengthen the ability of neighborhoods to halt disturbing behavior follows a more than two-year period of Towson State's working together with the community.

University administrators and students have convened monthly with representatives from neighborhood associations, the police department, zoning offices and businesses to find fair ways to prevent student-caused problems. We have agreed that a few landlords have knowingly allowed more tenants than is permissible by the zoning code.

With this new legislation, the community hopes to hold landlords responsible for tenant violations of zoning codes and for other disturbing behavior. We expect this will allow more effective enforcement and therefore more immediate relief when distressing behavior occurs.

Towson State officials have mounted a campaign to inform students about their responsibility to comply with local housing laws.

Towson State University, like other schools in the nation, advises students that it reserves the right to take action when students are found guilty of violating local laws and it has, on occasion, acted on that right.

Problems like the ones this legislation addresses are occurring in communities across the nation where colleges and universities are located.

Student interest in off-campus housing is currently high. Although the percentage of offending students and landlords is small, the controversy and distress emanating from such situations is overwhelming for those concerned.

Towson State University wishes to assure the community of its ** intention to continue its long-time role as a supportive, responsible and responsive neighbor.

Dorothy G. Siegel


The writer is vice president for student services of Towson State University.

Caring parents

Something happened at Villa Julie College that was like a breath of fresh air, strongly refuting what we so often read and hear about the breakdown of the family and family ties.

At a freshman-parent orientation held at the college, the student center was filled with freshmen.

More than 300 parents also attended -- mothers and fathers who on a weekday had taken off from work or used a day of vacation in order to come with their sons or daughters to learn, first-hand, what was planned for their education at Villa Julie.

They showed intense interest, asked intelligent questions and gave every evidence of the love and support they felt for their children . . .

So don't count out the good parents, the ones who really care about their children. There are still plenty of them around.

irginia Tanner


The writer is director of public relations for Villa Julie College.

Natural parks

It was welcome news to read about how the Baltimore City Parks Department, city planners and Yale University forestry students are moving our parks in a more natural direction.

City residents shouldn't always have to travel elsewhere in the state to find nature when there is so much unused land in our own parks.

Living near Herring Run Park, I'm glad to see that some of it is now being turned back to meadow.

Not only will this create a more beautiful, diverse and healthy environment, but in time more natural parks could be a great educational resources.

Bob Jacobson


Obsolete word

In his piece that appeared July 27 in Other Voices, John Brain complained about the way "politically correct" thinking erodes the English language. Probably true.

But he barks up the wrong villain when he picks on the League for the Handicapped. It wasn't politically correct or incorrect to discard "handicapped" in favor of "people with disabilities." It was the truth, belatedly recognized, that the person is not the disability, and the disability is not the person. Characterizations such as crippled, or handicapped, or even disabled, are assaults on his personality.

No, the new words will not debase the language. But the old ones did debase people with disabilities, of whom I am one.

Mr. Brain, a person who writes beautifully, needn't mourn for usages like crippled, handicapped or disabled. He will still be able to find them in future dictionaries, marked "obsolete."

Harry London


End the silence on Bosnia

The resignations of three diplomats from the State Department have moved me to end my silence on the horrific tragedy befalling the people of Bosnia. I only wish I had spoken out sooner.

Where are the voices of those who profess to be champions of life, human rights, freedom and democracy? Those are easy words to speak, tougher to act upon.

Where are the voices of the women's movement in the face of the systematic rape and murder of thousands of Bosnian women and young girls?

Where are the voices of the Jewish community and the state of Israel in the midst of genocide?

Where are the voices of America's "enlightened": the writers, artists, performers, scholars and students, doctors and lawyers who could influence so many toward the right course of action?

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