Blighted housing not our issue

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said he has dedicated himself and the university to help aid elimination of Johnstown City’s blighted housing problem.

While this looks like a great public relations move for Spectar and the university, we feel it should not be the university’s responsibility to repair longstanding problems far from its campus.

We applaud Spectar’s community philosophy to a degree, and we see where he’s coming from. It is important that the city thrives, but we feel that it is not our responsibility to step in.

Shouldn’t Johnstown’s community officials – its city council members, state representatives and senator – be  combatting this problem rather than an institution outside the city?

Haven’t they been working on the blight problem for half a century?

Pitt-Johnstown inhabitants have problems of their own.

We feel the College Park Apartments are a valuable resource and should be a higher priority on the fix-it list.

Some of our campus housing is in a needy condition. How about some safe walkways and sidewalks from campus to College Park and Bloomfield Apartments, along with some improved and safe walkways from campus to Richland Towne Center?

Why are we invested in a new project when we don’t even have ones on our own campus finished?

If students are receiving a solid education, graduates staying within the Johnstown area should have an interest in community outreach.

Thus, by focusing on providing an education, the university will improve Johnstown by creating generations of educated community-oriented graduates.

Renovating Johnstown properties is a good idea in theory, but in practice it is a long term, huge financial commitment – $10 million overall, as reported on WJAC-TV.

This project is a good idea, but it shouldn’t fall to a local university to get the ball rolling.

Shouldn’t Pitt-Johnstown’s – in Richland Township – financial resources go toward educating students, and improving our own immediate environment?