At the May 2009 South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC) meeting, special guest Tom Stafford, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, at North Carolina State University visited our group. A major concern for the group was students living off-campus, in family neighborhoods. Tom started off by saying that many students live off campus and that he currently acts as a liason with West CAC. He also shared that if he had to single out one thing that has the biggest impact on students in neighborhoods are actions from Raleigh Police Department (RPD).
After the brief introduction, the visit turned more into question and answers, then it became more conversation-like. Some things you might have heard from the crowd, both questions and responses, are listed below. Vice Chancellor Stafford took lots of notes and was engaged throughout the conversation.
- Q: Do “college” places have self-policing? A: Most larger apartment complexes have on-site management, but it is usually only during the day.
- Q: What can we do to protect our neighborhoods? A: Issues like quality of life, nuisance parties, etc. can best be addressed by getting the PROP enhanced and stronger.
- Q: Is RPD sharing information with NCSU Police? A: Yes, when appropriate. (But there was a sentiment that it could be better.) RPD + NCSU Police have a mutual agreement. RPD is first responder, relays information when they determine an NC State student is involved.
- Q: What are some effective ways that NC State communicates with the students? A: Student government is effective in communications. The mass email system is only used for emergencies.
- Q: What are some tips for engagement:? A: Encourage the people who live in your neighborhoods to reach out as soon as new students move in. Welcome them to the neighborhood, be a good neighbor.
- Q: Is there a way to encourage staff / faculty to live close to campus, some type of incentive from the university? A: There are no incentives at this time. (But Tom took notes.)
- Q: Are there students out there who offer services like baby-sitting, dog-sitting? A: The financial aid office should offer a “posting” of services wanted.
There were some good ideas generated during this conversation. Some included:
- a handout to all residents at the end of the semester about living off-campus
- an electronic course offering about living off-campus (could be co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh)
- student government could schedule a forum for neighborhoods