See below photo for update. Call it high dudgeon in Radnor. Ya know, I don't like robo-calls, but these neighbors have a right to be concerned about what amounts to institutional creep. And for Villanova as a school to basically do the Pontius Pilate is why the neighbors are historically so mistrustful of the school. Having watched several of my friends deal with the isues of St. Joe's expansion onto Episcopal Academy's former campus, I can honestly say I don't remember it being this nasty this fast in the manner this issue seems to be morphing. I will also note I have no horse in this race personally and am observing with concern.
Reading this article in the Inquirer by Katrhy Boccella dated March 14th it is as if residents are being cyber-bullied? Are they? Or are they unused to message boards? Is this turning into the type of issue that if you object publicly to Villanova's plan you will be subject to harassment? These people have families and kids. They are worried about how institutional creep will affect their greatest asset: their home. However, the flip side of the argument is that if they are going to put it out there to fight something they object to in their community, realistically they have to expect that those on the other side of the argument may fight back.
But my point is this all seems to be spiralling out of control. It's just nuts. I have posted links to the message board postings. I can't decide if they seem more than just message boards or not.
Saw this on Radnor's govie channel and wonder what it is about, what the calls say, and who is sending them out:
MESSAGE TODAY FROM RIGHT PLAN FOR RADNOR:
From: Right Plan For Radnor
To: [E-MAILS REDACTED]
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:17:55 AM GMT-4
Subject: Statement by Right Plan for Radnor on the Philadelphia Inquirer Story Today
*Statement by Right Plan for Radnor on the Philadelphia Inquirer Story Today
*We Call on the Administration of Villanova and Our Elected Officials to
Denounce these Attacks.*
Right Plan for Radnor was deeply saddened today when the administration of
Villanova University would not even say that these statements are not
reflective of the University; its students, their Alumni, fans or in any
way admonish these posters for their behavior.
If the University administration won't say anything for the students,
Alumni, or fans Right Plan for Radnor will. Right Plan for Radnor and the
residents of Radnor Township knows that these posters in no way, shape or
form reflect the vast, vast majority of Villanova students, alumni and fans.
These few Villanova alumni and fans do not reflect the character of the
entire Villanova community, and the positive impact the University has in
Radnor and throughout Delaware Valley.
We ask the University administration, as a responsible community partner,
to immediately denounce these attacks on their neighbors. The
administration of Villanova is asking Radnor to trust it in seeking one of
the largest zoning exemptions in Radnor history. Unfortunately the
administration feels trust is a one way street.
Community partners don’t hide behind weak statements when their neighbors
are attacked. We ask Father Peter Donohue to do the right thing. Denounce
these attacks. Let your voice be the voice of reason. It’s what good
If the administration of Villanova will not denounce these attacks we call
on our Board of Commissioners to, in a united way, to denounce these
Right Plan for Radnor looks forward to working with the University, Radnor
Township residents and our elected officials to develop the best plan for
our Radnor’s seniors, and families. A plan that benefits our township in
the immediate future and for generations to come.
Paid for by Right Plan for Radnor
Now here are the links to the board postings:
Bench Warmers/Right Plan for Radnor Responds
Bench Warmers/Phone Messages to Radnor Residents
Bench Warmers/Say NO to NOva, Right Plan for Radnor -Let's get the names of the 50 people
Here is the article:
Postings worsen Radnor's town-gown tensions
By Kathy Boccella
Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Wed, Mar. 14, 2012, 7:15 AM
Some Villanova alumni and fans, it seems, are acting more immature than your average college student.
Posters on a popular college sports message board, rivals.com, took potshots at residents who oppose the Catholic university's proposed $200 million expansion.....The residents belong to a newly formed group called Right Plan for Radnor.
Rivals.com commentators singled out members of the group and their families for ridicule, using terms such as "overweight oaf," "gross," "imbecile," and "wild and horny" to describe them.
They also discussed getting the names of all 50 members of the group from its Facebook page and suggested that the opposition was made up of alumni of Catholic rival St. Joseph's University. Several identified themselves as Villanova graduates.
Jonathan Gust, a spokesman for Villanova, said in a statement: "This website is in no way affiliated with Villanova University. This is an independent fan site, and Villanova has no control over the content."
Right Plan for Radnor, which is a little more than a week old, took down its Facebook page this week. The group alerted the university to what was being posted on the message board.
Joe Vandergeest, a group member and Villanova's closest neighbor, found a picture of himself, his wife, and two young children on the site with snarky remarks. The picture was taken from his Facebook page.
"Look, it's a public domain," he said of the photo. "But I think it's extremely unfortunate that they would seek to debate this on a personal level and attack a family.....and attack other residents.
"I certainly have not signaled out any one person. I haven't thrown any darts. I'm just trying to get an open dialogue."
The site names several members of the group, what they do for a living, and where they graduated from college. A few are St. Joe's grads. ...Over the weekend, Right Plan for Radnor paid for robo-calls to residents alerting them to the expansion plan and its impact on the neighborhoods. Kevin Geary, a founder of the group, said they wanted to "inform them of important issues that were before them that they may not know about," he said.