UPUA To Lobby Borough For Increased Lighting In Highlands Area

Downtown State College is already a vibrant area, but it will get even brighter if the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) has its way. The group passed a resolution during its Wednesday general assembly meeting urging the State College Borough Council to approve the installation of street lights in six locations throughout the Highlands Area.

The Highlands is essentially the bulk of State College’s downtown residential area. It spans University Drive to Atherton Street, stretching from Beaver Avenue on the north end to Easterly Parkway on the south. Thousands of student residences and fraternity houses are located within the district. In response to student concerns about feeling unsafe at night in the Highlands, largely thanks to a lack of lighting, the UPUA will lobby the borough at its Monday night council meeting for street lights at the following six locations:

  • The intersection of High Street and Holly Alley
  • Midblock of Holly Alley between Hetzel Street and High Street
  • Midblock of E. Foster Avenue between Hetzel Street and High Street
  • Middle of Elk Alley between E. Prospect Avenue and E. Hamilton Avenue
  • Middle of Clover Alley between E. Fairmount Avenue and E. Prospect Avenue
  • Midblock of Walnut Street between W. Prospect Avenue and W. Hamilton Avenue

UPUA hosted a tour in November of 2014 with leaders from the Association of Residence Hall Students, Off-Campus Student Union, Interfraternity Council, and Panhellenic Council “to identify areas of excessive darkness,” according to the resolution. They conducted a second tour in January, showcasing the chosen areas to members of the Highlands Civic Association.

The Borough Public Works Department estimated a $17,000 price tag for the additional lights. The resolution passed through the assembly unanimously on Wednesday, paving the way for a presentation to the council on Monday night. Vice President Terry Ford urged students who support the safety initiative to attend the meeting, which will take place in the Municipal Building at 7:30 p.m.

In other UPUA news, the assembly passed a resolution that calls for a student platform unanimously at Wednesday’s meeting. The platform will be a joint effort by the Legislative Outreach Commission, which also includes representatives from the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

The assembly also added two members to its executive board. Brandon Rittenhouse — the 2015 Homecoming Executive Director — was  unanimously confirmed as the S-Book Director (and also the Graphic Designer), for the Tenth Assembly. He will be in charge of assembling the next student handbook, and will retain his position to design all promotional material for the assembly. Michael Mancini, who served as the Schreyer representative in the Ninth Assembly, was confirmed unanimously as the Director of Finance — or treasurer — for the assembly. He will oversee the organization’s budgetary and financial doings.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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