of Central Pennsylvania
Local co-ops gain mainstream popularity
by Kevin Mannes
No longer is the cooperative philosophy considered social-
ist, now it is just considered good business.
An old fortune cookie saying is taped up
on Jay Sletson’s desk that reads
happy those who are near, and those who
Cooperative Housing group and also a sec-
“Cooperatives form when people realize the
are far will come.” Sletson, the executive
benefits of getting together to solve a com-
director of the Fraternity Purchasing
For cooperatives like the Fraternity
mon problem,” Sletson explained.
Association, has made this his personal phi-
Purchasing Association, however, a lot of
No longer is the cooperative philosophy
losophy and he runs the FPA accordingly.
responsibility falls on Sletson. For starters,
considered socialist, now it is just consid-
The FPA is what is commonly known as
the FPA has 49 fraternities, 21 sororities,
ered good business.
a cooperative. More specifically, it is a pur-
and almost three dozen community organi-
“Basically it’s an economic decision,”
chasing cooperative where the owners, con-
zations ranging from churches to theatres as
said Jim Romano former Vice President of
sumers, and beneficiaries of the company’s
members. This means that Sletson has over
FPA-member Sigma Alpha Mu.
work are the members.
100 bosses with different needs that must be
thought of it as socialist. We’re college stu-
Photo by Kevin Mannes
In fact, Sletson himself is just an employ-
met. Nevertheless, Sletson remains com-
dents so we don’t have much money. We
Jay Sletson, executive director of the Fraternity
ee. His bosses are on the 15-person board
mitted to his goal of helping people take
have to be smart about what we buy and
Purchasing Association, is dedicated to helping
of directors who are elected from the vari-
control, which is exactly what cooperatives
smart about how we buy it, so if the best
the FPA members take control.
ous member groups. As a result, Sletson’s
are meant to do.
way to do that is to work together then that’s
ultimate goal is to make his boss, the cus-
Even more importantly it is the diversity
what we’re going to do.” Economics is at
simultaneously being able to afford to live
of the member organizations who buy into
the root of most cooperatives which is what
off high-quality food from local businesses.
Cooperatives, Sletson said, are “an eco-
the cooperative philosophy that makes this
makes them a truly viable alternative to the
“Basically everything we buy is from local
nomic justice delivery mechanism.” Nearly
model of business so interesting.
corporate way of doing business. It is not
businesses. We don’t shop at Wal-Mart or
any business model can be run in a cooper-
ago a cooperative such as the FPA would
just the ability of purchasing cooperatives
even Giant and we try to keep trips to
ative fashion but rather than the profits
have been labeled as socialist and anti-
to buy wholesale; other cooperatives simply
Wegmans to a minimum,” said Lenes.
being distributed unequally amongst own-
allow their members the ability to afford to
Formed three years ago, the CPCH has
ers, shareholders and workers, cooperative
Nevertheless, now it has members that
live without relying on large corporations.
quickly grown to 18 members who now run
members are the owners, investors, and
traditionally have represented the establish-
For instance, many housing cooperatives,
and operate two houses on West College
consumers. “We try to operate as democrat-
ment in churches and fraternities working
such as Central Pennsylvania Community
“I doubt I would still be at this
ically as possible,” said Josh Lenes, Board
together for a common cause. This, howev-
Housing, came about from a group of peo-
school if it wasn’t for this cooperative,”
Chair of the Central Pennsylvania
er, is the greatest asset of a cooperative.
ple’s desire to find low-cost housing while
Football violence has effect on State College
said former Beaver Stadium parking lot
by Michele Russell
“Football has turned its ugly head in a lot of different
attendant Joe Boris.
As the local saying goes, State College is
Boris worked for the stadium’s Lot 3 and
areas... the crowd mentality is there and it’’s getting worse
a “drinking town with a football problem.”
used his field pass to watch the games, but
Recently, this description is proving to be
namely, he observed the crowds there.
true. College football may be causing an
“The fans treat the game of football as a
increase in violence and tension among its
religion, and in a religion there is the pro-
failure, the number of assault crimes report-
“It just seems as though State College is
fane and the sacred…Penn State football is
“The size and scope of a football game
ed in State College changes.
a much happier place when the Penn State
the sacred,” said Boris.
here is an unusual thing,” said Penn State
2004, State College police
football team is winning,” said Jones.
Football’s growing fan base is also a
Vice Provost of Student Equity Terrell
responded to 327 assault and disorderly
Football’s popularity at other large
major contributor to the intense atmosphere
conduct reports, according to the
schools is creating similar problems.
in the stands.
“I have ridden around with police during a
Pennsylvania Uniforms Crime Reporting
think in any school with a large athletics
“I’ve noticed, especially with close game
home game weekend, and I see that it takes
Systems Web site.
department we can see these types of [vio-
that there was a feeling of tenseness in the
all of our police services just to maintain the
The Penn State football team won four of
lence] problems,” said Jones.
crowd. I think that as [the fans] care more
safety and order of the crowd,” he said.
11 games in the 2004 season.
One example is the aggravated assault
about the team and the sport, they become
“On a Penn State home football game
According to the same Web site, police
case involving an Oklahoma University
less neighborly with those around them,
weekend, the population of State College
handled 224 assault and disorderly conduct
football fan attempting to rip off a rival
and this gives them an excuse to hurt peo-
increases, making it the third largest city in
reports in December 2005, the same month
University of Texas fan’s scrotum Sept. 11.
ple over this ‘religion’ they have created,”
the state [during these times],” said Jones.
in which Penn State completed an almost
“Football has turned its ugly head in a lot
It seems that with this population
perfect winning season and were headed to
of different areas…the crowd mentality is
, pg. 15
increase and the football games’ success or
the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl.
there and it’s getting worse and worse,”
of Central Pennsylvania
competition among players to perform bet-
might be psychologically different,” he
December 2004, according to reports in
, pg. 14
ter and causes an increased desire to win.
local daily newspapers.
“I think the crowd helps to keep [the
Recently, the attention given to football
Paxson’s attorney claimed the alleged
football players] excited…I think that the
players in the media has its own violent
victim never said “no”, according to the
College football’s rising popularity also
crowd is appreciated, but it’s [the player’s]
undertones. One example is the case in
article. The sexual assault charges in this
shoves its players into the limelight. “When
doing of the deed that brings [the player]
which six Penn State football players were
case were also eventually dropped.
[I] played here, it wasn’t as big of a plat-
satisfaction…the fact that
[the action] is
charged with assaulting a group of people
And just last month, former Penn State
form as it is today,” said Bob Andronici,
violent just comes with the game,” said
at the Meridian Apartments in downtown
football player Robert Luke was ordered to
who played Penn State football in 1964.
State College on April 1, 2007.
$1 million in damages for
“Most of the kids today that come here are
“Most of the [players] today are terribly
An anonymous letter circulated among
injuries suffered by a former student he
highly recruited by many different col-
accomplished athletes who have been nur-
apartment dwellers in the area where the
threw through a window in 2001.
leges,” he said.
tured in this sport for most of their
alleged assault occurred, according to the
Andronici said the problem with football
The crowd’s focus on the team creates a
lives…so how they approach [the sport]
Centre Daily Times
players committing violent crimes is how to
The letter attempted to persuade the ten-
ants not to pursue the case, asking them to
“The football coaching staff must have a
“seek out the football department and ask
view or plan that reminds their players that
for a formal meeting with [their] attackers.”
they must be citizens,” he said.
Eventually, all six suspected football
Andronici described how football affect-
players were released on unsecured bail,
ed his ability to resolve conflict.
and four suspects’ charges were dropped,
“If I start to feel things getting out of
according to an April 27, 2007, Associated
control, I knew I could put it back in order
through physical threat and I could see
SANDWICHES SOUPS SALADS
This is not the only time Penn State foot-
when I first left [football] how this affected
ball players have walked into a courtroom
me,” he said.
in recent years.
“Penn State football is seen by a lot of
Another example is the sexual assault
people here as being ‘it’ for us…we live
107 East Beaver
allegations made against player Scott
and die with the football season,” said
Paxson in April 2006, in which a victim
Boris. “We need to go back to being people
State College, PA 16801
accused Paxson of raping and assaulting her
and reminding ourselves that football is
ON LINE ORDERING (psuroly.com)
in his Nittany Apartments residence in
still just a game.”
HAVE AN EYE
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