Recent publications regarding St. John’s University disturbances are disheartening in that the responsibility is placed on students and not where it belongs.
Accountability for the numerous destructive actions against our lives should be held by the SJU administration who have forcibly violated our neighborhood in more ways than one. At this juncture, I would like to pose the question if we as law abiding, tax paying and more importantly peace-loving people are left with any basic human rights to fight for when time and again, our pleas have been ignored and trampled unmercifully by the SJU administration in the guise of running an educational institute whose structure and policy have destroyed the harmonious surroundings that we once enjoyed. In other words, our repeated but numerous complaints have been unjustly ignored without appropriate corrective measures.
The results from the erection of the SJU dorms is the accompanying carnage such as: noise, pollution, vandalisms, illegal parking, misbehavior of drunken students outside of our homes, piles of garbage, empty bottles of alcohol thrown in our yards, and sleepless nights due to congregating students drinking and screaming at the top of their lungs in front of our homes, illegal parking blocking our driveways, SJU’s football stadium with all the noise, traffic coupled with pollution and upcoming soccer stadium right across from homes, just to name a few that have been introduced to our community by none other than the SJU administration, using their students as a shield to take cover from their transgressions. Therefore, without wasting time or mincing words, I reiterate that my ongoing demands for immediate action listed below be carried out by SJU administration to give back what has been taken from us so brutally:
a. Immediate closure of Gates 6 and 7.b. Immediately use the interior parking lots and roads for dorm students.c. Immediately use gate 4 as the night gate for student activities.d. By end of spring ’02, provide incentives to park inside the campus.e. By Fall ’02 construct a gate away from homes.f. Obey and enforce Quality of Life laws 24/7
We have become a community under siege, regrettably at the hands of an institution engaged in a noble act of community building-St. John’s University-who seem to possess the unquestionable right and power with no consequences to face, not only to intrude but to effectively abolish the rights of a small community such as ours. How is this possible in a country that dictates human rights and laws to the world while they are being violated in their own backyard?
Lalith and Dilly Nanayakkara, Hillcrest