Minutes from Dec. 1 Open Forum

The following is a summary sent by a community member in attendance to folks living in her neighborhood – we could not have said it better our selves:

We wanted to give you a brief update on the Dec. 1 W&L Campus Community Coalition meeting, which was well-attended by both residents and students. The Coalition is now an official student organization; has a student leadership team, including a transition team of juniors who will take over when the seniors graduate; and appears to be making real progress in getting more students involved. Information and updates on Coalition activities and leaders can be found at the Coalition’s website — see point (2) below.

(1) Trash: Neighbors expressed their appreciation for the fact that the university, landlords, and students are working together to ensure that party trash is cleaned up promptly. New initiatives include a recycling program and a focus on cleaning up non-party litter, such as indoor furniture that ends up on lawns, etc. Road clean-ups will continue on a monthly basis, led by students (with neighbors encouraged to join in).

(2) Noise: Neighbors noted that the students are doing a much better job of controlling party noise, although there’s still work to be done in this area. The students asked that neighbors please contact them first, before calling the police, if neighbors are having a noise problem. (See attached contact list and map, which are also available on the Coalition’s website at http://www.1.wlu.edu/x51125.xml and click on “campus list and map” on the left side of the page.) Captain Blaylock from the Sheriff’s office noted that most noise complaints are now coming from a small number of residents; student leaders would like to meet with those residents and the students in the offending houses to address the residents’ needs.

(3) Road safety: A task force will be formed, made up of students, landlords, and residents, to work with the Sheriff’s office and VDOT on road safety issues along Furrs Mill and Greenhouse Roads. (Some progress was made in 2009, and we want to improve on that.) We talked about ways to “calm” traffic and enforce speed limits, teach pedestrians and those who park along the roads how to use the roads safely, and ensure that roads are well-paved and have appropriate signage/markings. If you are interested in being part of this task force (and did not express that interest at the meeting last night), please contact Andrew Bonds (bondsa12@wlu.edu) and/or Kate Cole (colek13@wlu.edu).

(4) “Cultural” changes: W&L student leadership pointed out that, to date, more on-campus parties have taken place this year than during the entire last year. This is a result of concerted efforts being made by the University to encourage on-campus, rather than off-campus, parties. In addition, the students are planning such things as midnight “breakfasts” on-campus on big party nights to encourage students to get back to campus early and safely. The goal is to permanently change the party habits of W&L students and discourage excessive off-campus partying.

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Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup Was Effective

Thank you to the CCC student leadership who showed up in strong numbers to clean up the roadsides along Furrs Mill Rd. and Greenhouse Rd. Folks must be doing a good job picking up trash regularly, because there was not much to do. It was well worth coming to help David Gibert ’11 celebrate his birthday with Oreo Cake. Special thanks to Victoria Bell ’14 for coming out to help as a first-year who is just interested in supporting a strong relationship between the University and the rest of the local community. Special thanks to Graham Perkins ’11 for working with Student Environmental Action League (SEAL) and CCC to organize a student-led post-party recycling initiative. CCC is bringing out the best in people.

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Open Forum was productive

We appreciate the approximately 35 people that attended the open forum including representatives from the sheriff’s office, board of supervisors, lexington police, key landlords, key student off-campus houses, and neighbors throughout the community. Richard and David did a particularly good job of explaining the CCC mission, accomplishments, and initiatives. The conversation allowed for people to share points and counter-points in a way that was helpful to everyone understanding the bigger picture. The important sentiment that came from the meeting is that there is definitely a way for W&L students to have parties that are fun without the need for citations. The key issues seemed to be event management, improving the expected behavior of party guests, and building relationships between students, neighbors, and law enforcement. We are making progress.

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Picnic Went Well

Sure enjoyed the conversations with the approximately 25 students and 15 neighbors that hung out after the Adopt-a-Highway. Thank you to CCC for providing food catered by Salerno’s. I saw the News Gazette was there, I hope they do an article about the positive accomplishments in our community. So many people are giving their time and energy to help others understand the importance of being a good citizen.

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Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup was great

Things didn’t look that bad when we drove up, but we still managed to pull 8 bags of trash out of the ditches along the roads. It was nice to see students and neighbors working at this together. Thank you for organizing the effort.

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Picnic Sunday at 5pm

We are very much looking forward to the picnic on Sunday. We appreciate the pole houses hosting and we will have enough food to accomodate a large turnout. Having the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup immediately before the picnic is a brilliant idea. Well Done!

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