Published on November 3rd, 2011 | by Jake Dalli0
Business Owners Reveal more Hostility around Campus
Following reports earlier this week of animal cruelty on University grounds, a number of shop owners and employees at businesses in the area have shed light on other acts of hostility taking place on and around the campus.
A shop manager of a popular catering outlet stated that animal cruelty is an issue she faces on a day to day basis. “I often find youths kicking and beating cats, it seems that they know that it is wrong. They always stop when I approach them”, she said. When asked if she knew who or where the aggressors come from, the manager promptly referred to the refurbished subway area – “ they come from the subway, some are skaters, some aren’t.”
The manager described the youths as “school-aged”, referring to children attending primary and secondary schools – saying she found it strange that children of their age would be out on weekdays till late. Also speaking as a resident of the area, she pointed out that it is not the first time that animal cruelty and vandalism has been discussed: “When White Arrow bar closed down, the area became a safer place but the new skate park is bringing those memories back.”
She argued that, as a parent, she felt that the area is slowly becoming well known for all the wrong reasons. “The skate park was introduced on a positive initiative, but is being frequented by all the wrong people.” Relating this week’s incident to a lack of upbringing she commented: “ My daughter used to go there, but she eventually realized that it is not a nice place to hang out. It has become a taboo.”
Meanwhile, an employee at “Papier Plus”, a stationery in the same area, earlier this week reported an act of vandalism when a group of youths on bikes vindictively hurled light bulbs at the outlet. After filing a police report, the employee commented, “I am sure that they are part of the crowd that hangs out at the skate park.”
The area outside the University Old Gate has attracted a significant number of establishments since the University’s inception. Offering a prime location for business owners, the area is widely considered as a hub for student services ranging from catering to office supplies. In 2008, the Msida Subway adjacent to the said area was refurbished into a recreational environment targeting skateboarders and freestyle bike riders alike. The subway area has since become known as “The Skatepark”, receiving recognition as Malta’s primary location for skating.
InsiterOnline will be featuring an interview with a group of Skaters Shortly.