Last Monday’s City Council Workshop discussed the results of the Uptown Safety Task Force and how the behavior of students downtown affects the city. The issues discussed were how GPD officers were taken off patrolling other areas of the city to patrol downtown, public urination and parking.
The cost of patrolling downtown is expensive and GPD is left footing the bill to pay officers overtime. Public works have to come in and clean up public urination in stairwells of parking garages and elevators. Double parking and parking for too long makes it difficult for many people to find parking spaces.
City employees gave presentations on how to fix these issues such as hiring ambassadors to patrol the downtown, adding portable bathrooms and charging for parking at night.
We, the editorial staff at The East Carolinian, believe while the behavior of students downtown could be improved, East Carolina University students are not entirely to blame.
While ECU students should be held accountable for their actions, they should not be blamed for what happens downtown. Students bring their friends, people come from all over the state for game days and Greenville residents also find their way downtown. The downtown area attracts people other than just ECU students.
While downtown attracts people other than ECU students, it is ECU that brings people to Greenville. Without ECU there would be no football games, baseball games or Pirate Fest.
With almost 30,000 students, it cannot be denied that students have an impact on Greenville's economy. That is almost 30,000 people eating at local restaurants and bars and shopping at local businesses. ECU students contribute to businesses thriving downtown and they should not be made to feel unwelcome in a community they contribute so much too.