McDaniel versus Westminster

commentary

If you are a McDaniel student that partakes in partying and socializing you have probably heard about the many complaints of loud noises and raunchy partying by Westminster residents that prompted an article in the Carroll County Times.

The article brought to light an issue that has significantly worsened over my two-year stint here on the Hill. A Hill which college educated, well-off students sit on while peering down at the primarily working class Westminster community (excuse the metaphor, but I believe it appropriately describes the way many residents look at McDaniel and vice versa).

Having said that, McDaniel students are fist fighting on two fronts:

1) Students are looked upon by college-aged Westminster residents as snotty, rich, stuck up, and perhaps with slight jealousy as well, but it is pride-fully masked. Anyway, with the addition of alcohol, the fist-fight analogy becomes more literal and in recent weeks there have been two serious fights between students and locals.

2) The second front is a conflict of interest between partying McDaniel students and families that inhabit PA Ave and other areas that hold off-campus housing for students.  The issue of students’ late-night socializing and the problems it is causing for residents was recently made public via Carroll County Times.

How could this conflict be solved?

First of all, McDaniel and the City of Westminster most acknowledge that there is in fact a break or clash between local residents and college students. As it is now the relationship concerning Westminster and McDaniel College is flimsy at best.

Take McDaniel sporting events, for example. In my two years of playing basketball for the school, I have rarely, if ever, seen a fan in attendance that doesn’t have some sort of McDaniel connection. This seems like a simple PR problem that could easily enhance the relationship between McDaniel and Westminster and could be fixed with some sports promoting within the city.

With the Ravens leaving their summer training camp at McDaniel and returning to Owings Mills, McDaniel is sure to take a big Public Relations hit. The camp had been a staple for the city and for McDaniel and for the past 15 years had brought the two together—no more.

One thing is for sure- the tension is unsettling for Westminster residents and McDaniel students alike. If action is not taken, the complaints, the arguments, the fights (or worse) are all sure to continue. The question must be answered; is Westminster a college town OR is McDaniel a college in the town of Westminster?