I sat in the City Hall meeting with adrenaline pumping through my veins. I was ready to stand up for my school and fellow peers but instead I sat there and listened to multiple residents of Orange discussing the unhappiness with Chapman University students.
It was a little uncomfortable when one resident discussed the situation of a Chapman student urinating on his front lawn, but even he knew that one student’s actions should not cause the community to look down on the entire Chapman community.
In my eyes the issues regarding noise complaints and Chapman expansion have been blown a little out of proportion.
Orange County citizens want a quiet area to live in, Chapman students want to be able to have social gatherings, and Chapman University wants to extend the campus.
There are three different groups of people that want three very different things. We live in a triangle of hate but no one can identify the root of the problem.
Everyone has his or her own theory as to why the problem exists but no one is willing to compromise.
I think the problem stems from the lack of space.
Think about it this way: If we gave students more space they would be able to do what they want in a safer environment. If Orange gave students a little more land away from their primary residential area students could do what they please in the confinements of the law. This way the Orange community gets a quiet neighborhood and all three parties get what they want.
Chapman University fails to provide its students with a stand-alone student union, which is proof enough that students are being cheated of the space they deserve.
Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with Chapman not wanting to give us space. If the administration had its way Argyros Forum would be our student union. Unfortunately, the Orange County community thinks that expansion will just fuel their problem even further.
What if we expanded west of the school past the train tracks, allowing Chapman students to have their own space away from the community?
Would that help?
Maybe, but no one can say for certain.
Is it wrong of me to ask why the citizens of Orange expect to reap the benefits of our establishment but complain about the repercussions? It is not a secret that a large section of the profits in the Plaza come from Chapman students and the people of Orange appreciate the fact that Chapman is fueling their economy however they would like that even better with certain stipulations?
What is the old saying? You can’t cut the cake and eat it, too.
I am writing this not as a complaint or retaliation. I am writing this as a student who believes that sometimes the students voice is crushed due to the two larger parts in the equation.
When you think about an issue like this, put yourself in our shoes. You were in college once, think about that time and tell me if you would feel right if you got a ticket for having twelve people over (all 21 and over) to grill out in your backyard. A little harsh? I agree.