Your Drexel Neighborhood
The Drexel University City campus is located in the Powelton Village neighborhood in West Philadelphia, from 32nd Street to 39th Street (west) and Race Street to Spring Garden Street (north). Powelton Village has a long history with a number of Victorian homes built in the 19th century by the Powel and Bingham-Baring families. This culturally diverse neighborhood also serves as home to many Drexel University students.
Mantua is another West Philadelphia neighborhood in which Drexel University students live. Mantua is located near the Schuylkill River, and the neighborhood extends from Spring Garden Street (south) to Mantua Avenue (north) and from 31st Street (east) to 40th Street (west). Mantua is most notably home to the 42-acre Philadelphia Zoo and many scenic murals, designed and created by the Philadelphia Mural Arts program.
Learn more about Philadelphia's neighborhoods.
Being a Member of the Local Community
Whether you are commuting to campus from afar or living just off campus in the West Philadelphia area, you are a participating member of the Drexel and local community. Your conduct when at Drexel has a large impact on the local community. To help you better navigate West Philadelphia as a contributing community member, below is a resource that we recommend you check out:
- University City District is a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small businesses, and residents that creates opportunity that improves economic vitality and quality of life in the University City area of West Philadelphia. Our primary mission is community revitalization. We work within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation. The UCD hosts events throughout West Philadelphia, creates and updates local parks, hosts farmers markets at the 30th Street Porch, and leads the community to improve and revitalize West Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Being a Good Neighbor
The ongoing relationship between Drexel University and the surrounding neighborhood is an interdependency that enriches the lives of all members of our Philadelphia community. Off-campus students like you play an important role in the development of a positive relationship between the University and the community, meaning we simply request that our students be good neighbors.
The following are a few suggestions for being the best neighbor you can be:
- Introduce Yourself – Once you've finished unpacking, personally introduce yourself to your neighbors. If you feel comfortable, exchange phone numbers with them so you can contact each other if there are concerns.
- Consider Your Neighbors' Lifestyles – Get to know your neighbors — what do they do for a living, what their schedules might be like, and so on. Sometimes you can remedy problems before they even start; for example, if they work nights, quiet mornings will be important to them. If they have young children, quiet evenings will be very important to them. Similarly, give them information that will help them be more considerate of your lifestyle.
- Show Respect – Many neighbors have owned their homes for several decades and have a great investment in the community.
- Offer a Helping Hand – Shovel snow, offer to carry your neighbors' groceries, or get involved in the block or community association:
- The Powelton Village Civic Association (PVCA) serves the residents of Powelton Village and advocates for their concerns with the City and Drexel University. The Association consists of volunteers who contribute their time for the betterment of the community.
- The Mantua Civic Association serves to advocate for and represent the issues and concerns of residents, to improve the quality of life for all, and preserve the identity and history of Mantua for the next generation.
- Maintain the Appearance of Your Property – Keep your property clean and clear of debris. Stay aware of the schedule for trash and recycling pick up (typically on Mondays except on holidays). Put out trash at 7 p.m. the night before pickup. If a holiday falls on a Monday, then pickup is Tuesday. Also, responsibly take care of trash that has blown onto the property. Help keep the neighborhood clean by participating in clean ups that are announced in your neighborhood and citywide. Fines for trash-related issues cost $50, such as: Sidewalks Not Litter-Free, Premises Not Litter-Free, Trash Set Out Early, and Trash Not Securely Bundled.
- Alert Your Neighbors to Parties – If you're planning a party or social gathering, give your neighbors plenty of warning about when it will start and how long you expect it to last. Leave them a telephone number to contact you if they need to ask you to turn the music down.
- Be Aware of Shared Walls – If you're in a row home or any structure where you and your neighbors share adjacent living spaces, consider your noise levels. Consider moving TVs and speakers away from the partition walls.
- Be Considerate with On-Street Parking – Parking can be a major challenge in any city. Take precautions to leave space for your neighbors. This may include speaking with guests about places to park near your residence, or being mindful of the amount of space left between vehicles.
Remember, you are a steward of Drexel University both on and off campus.
Off-Campus Neighbor Resources
- Tenants Union Representative Network (TURN) – A community organization that supports tenants in advocating for a better rental experience. TURN also offers educational workshops to help tenants understand their rights and ask questions about the rental experience.
- Recycling – Check out Philadelphia's Street Department's information on how you can recycle in your neighborhood and the benefits to doing so.
- Trash Disposal – We share a responsibility for keeping our Philadelphia neighborhoods clean. Find out when your trash is collected and what requirements you have for disposing of your waste. If you are renting, talk with your landlord to see what the landlord's trash disposal and recycling plan is for your apartment/house.
Safety in the Neighborhoods
Commuting to and living in an urban environment is exciting and full of opportunity; however, preparation and awareness is important. In order to be safe in and around Drexel's campus, you must learn to be proactive in a variety of situations. Below are a few resources and safety tips to help make your time at Drexel University safer and more comfortable.
- Be aware of your environment. Do not walk around the city or your neighborhood with headphones on or talking or texting on your phone. Doing so means you're distracted from what's happening around you and your ability to assess your surroundings is diminished.
- If you are looking to live in or around Philadelphia, be sure to survey the area during the day and at night accompanied by a friend or family member. Speak to the people who live in the area, as well.
- Ask questions. What has been happening in the neighborhood that you should be aware of — both positive and more challenging? Only you can decide what will be a comfortable environment for you.
Drexel University Police and Public Safety
Drexel University and our Public Safety team offer a variety of resources and services to help keep you safe while living and attending classes at the University.
- Walking Escort Program – Upon request, Drexel Public Safety security officers provide walking escorts for Drexel students, faculty, and staff within patrol boundaries: 30th to 36th Streets and Chestnut to Spring Garden Streets. Public Safety will also contact the University City District Safety Patrol to continue to escort Drexel community members beyond the Drexel patrol area. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 215.895.2822.
- Drexel Guardian – Turn your cell phone into a personalized blue light emergency phone. In the event of an emergency, Drexel Guardian allows the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center to immediately access important information about you, such as your name, photograph, important medical information, and location, when you call 267.298.1442 or use the app on your cell phone — dramatically increasing the odds that they can find and help you. The service is free and voluntary, and the information you provide is kept completely confidential.
- Drexel Patrol Area – Drexel patrols and reports crime statistics based on various geographical areas around each Drexel University campus. Please review the maps below for more specific information on the patrol borders.