By Jim Kuffner, Assistant Vice President for Community Relations and Special Projects UP liaison to UPNA
I was thrilled to see the "Party Patrol" article by Caitlin Yilek and the supporting commentary from the editors in the most recent issue of the Beacon. I urge all students living off-campus now or those who might in the future to read both pieces and seriously take the advice to heart. As the university's liaison to the neighborhood association, and a 15 year veteran of attending their monthly meetings, I can report that unacceptable behavior by students while living off campus in the nearby neighborhood is, regrettably, an annual topic of discussion. There are few issues as deflating or emotionally draining as neighbors struggling to understand how a handful of students living next door or across the street can rob them of the peace and livability they had come to expect and enjoy as homeowners in the University Park Neighborhood. Without doubt these are the toughest issues I have to deal with as the UP person in the room at the time.
Please know that I am not talking about all students living in the neighborhood. And most neighbors really do like our students and UP. But relations with our neighbors could really be improved if students living out there would just remember and practice the three R's – respect, responsibility, respond. Respect your neighbors and the fact they are homeowners trying to maintain a safe and calm residence for their families. Understand you have a responsibility to be a good neighbor yourself and to act in ways that support rather than erode neighborhood livability. Respond positively and promptly if a neighbor asks your cooperation in resolving a concern or issue that is causing a problem for them. And finally, as the article clearly demonstrates, the office of Public Safety is, and can be, a student's best friend in the neighborhood.