With more students choosing to live off campus, the Student Government Association’s senior class cabinet are launching a Good Neighbor campaign to better the relations between students and Hamden residents.
SGA’s Vice President for Public Relations Julianna Besharat and Senior Class President Emily McDonald were inspired by a program at North Dakota State University for this campaign, which was having a tough time with students living off campus.
McDonald and Besharat combined ideas from North Dakota State with their own since the beginning of the academic year.
“The students living off campus and their neighbors don’t have the best relationships,” Besharat said. “Our goal is to have them increase communication and have them get to know each other a little bit.”
Besharat, McDonald and their committees introduced their program at the senior cabinet’s Taste in Hamden Event on Oct. 30. They got about 75 students to sign a pledge saying they will do their best to be good neighbors.
Besharat and McDonald created door hangers with information about the program and will be going door to door to both Quinnipiac students’ houses and the homes of Hamden residents to explain their program on Sunday Nov.17.
Besharat says they are going to focus on the areas where there is a large student population and where many of the complaints have been occurring. Besharat and McDonald explained they don’t want to put an emphasis just on the partying, but the parking and trash problems as well.
“Being a respectful neighbor also means bringing in your trash cans every week, not constantly parking cars on the street to clog up traffic and just maintaining your property in general,” McDonald said.
McDonald, who lives off campus, said having her own house and being a respectful neighbor to Hamden families did take some getting used to.
“It is easy to forget that we have to take care of our house and keep the lawn and driveway clean, which are things we haven’t been used to for the past three years,” McDonald said. “It is important to be respectful because there are people raising families and living their lives around us.”
Senior Danielle Olivero lives off campus this year with three others.She says they are one of two houses in their complex that consists of college students.
“As seniors living off campus, we made it a priority to maintain a good relationship with our neighbors,” Olivero said. “After a few months of living off campus, we have established positive relationships. We share a mutual respect.”
Besharat and McDonald hope the program will allow students and their neighbors to know and respect each other.
Besharat encourages students to visit the town website to look over the town ordinances to make sure they are up to code. She feels neighbors will be less likely to call law enforcement if they know the students they are living next to and have good relations with them.
With the recent arrests and complaints, Besharat feels this is a great time to launch the campaign. Although it is the end of the semester, Besharat hopes the number of complaints next semester will decrease.