Community Voices Concerns After Another PSU Student Falls From Balcony

By Mallory Lane

Published 01/20 2014 06:19PM

Updated 01/20 2014 06:37PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - State College Police are still investigating after a 19 year-old Penn State student fell 16 feet from a second-floor balcony early Sunday morning.

Police say it happened at the Palmerton around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. The student was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center for non-life threatening injures.

Police say alcohol and marijuana were factors in the fall.

Police expect charges to be filed against several Penn State students in the coming weeks for furnishing alcohol to minors. They say students were hosting a party in the apartment at the time of the fall.

This is the seventh time someone fell or jumped from a downtown window or balcony in State College since October 2012.

Other students on campus say enough is enough.

"When you come to college, there are a lot of things that can happen," Penn State sophomore Emily Miller, said. "You don't necessarily think that people will be falling off balconies."

Miller can't believe it.

"The first time, I was surprised and now it's scary that it's becoming a common thing," she said.

Miller is looking forward to living in an apartment downtown next year, one she chose specifically for its balcony.

"It's something to think about," she said. "I know my mom is concerned about it. Even if it's not you, it could be someone else and you're liable for it."

Other students feel the same.

"I don't really understand why it's happening," Penn State senior Katie Esarey said.

Esarey is a member of Penn State's student government. She says something has to be done to keep another student from falling and the answer may have to do with drug and alcohol awareness.

"I hate to say we'll ban all balconies forever, but it seems to be going in that direction," State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, said.

Goreham says it's unlikely balconies will be sealed off for good, but says discussion will continue among borough council members moving forward.

"We are concerned and not sure how to address it," she said. "Whether to have more information sessions about the dangers of balconies, just to make us more aware and alert to the dangers."

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