WCU student Daniel Colon to Reapportionment Commission

May 3, 2012

Legislative Reapportionment Commission Hearing
Testimony by Daniel Love Colon

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to today. I am Daniel Love Colon and as a West Chester University undergraduate, I offer you a student prospective.

The University is located in contiguous areas of three municipalities. The North campus residence halls are in West Chester Borough, where also thousands of students live off-campus. The South Campus Apartments and Village lie in East Bradford Township. The academic buildings of East Campus and West Chester Commons are in West Goshen Township.

West Chester University and the Borough have created a unique partnership that has allowed them to grow in tandem. Whichever municipality they live in, students participate in many community service events, festivals, and other activities throughout the Borough. On the other hand, they vote in East Bradford and West Goshen as well. Students want to know to whom, at the state level, they can turn for support to understand the matters that directly affect Higher Education and their lives.

The districts in which we are voting this year put all areas of West Chester University together in the 156th House district.

The plan rejected by the PA Supreme court split the University between the 156th (West Goshen) and the 160th (the southern parts of both the Borough and of East Bradford).

The current proposal splits the University between the 156th (West Chester) and the 158th (East Bradford, southern part of West Goshen).

In terms of the integrity of the University and students’ legitimate desire to have their legislative representation centered near their campus, the new proposal is neither better nor worse than the rejected plan, and the 2001 plan is distinctly superior.

Splitting the student voice will ultimately affect students’ engagement with their community, municipalities, and university as well as candidates’ ability to represent and reach out to the significant entity that is West Chester University.

Thank you for your attention, and I would urge you to consider a principle that a university, just like any other community, should not be split unless absolutely necessary.