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The ITGA Dateline Newsletter


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  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 07:01:25 -0400 (EDT)
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International Town & Gown Association 
College Town Newsletter

September 7, 2017
Welcome to Dateline, a weekly newsletter
highlighting college town news around the world
In This Issue
Student Misbehavior Off Campus Declines in Latest UMass Report
Town-Gown Nation News
Daily Hampshire Gazette, by Scott Merzbach
A decline in off-campus incidents involving University of Massachusetts students is the result of a continued cooperation between the town and UMass, including its police departments, according to university officials. Data included in the Off-Campus Conduct Report, which covers the 2016-17 academic year, show that UMass students were involved in 141 off-campus incidents, a drop of 39 percent from the preceding year, when there were 232 incidents. UMass officials are pointing to increased collaborations to address neighborhood concerns about loud parties and drunken activity. Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, in a statement praised the "ongoing partnership for compliant response and educational outreach" led by Eric Beal, of the university's Office of External Relations, and Bill Laramie of the Amherst Police Department.  
University Fosters Student-Community Relations
The Vermont Cynic, by JP Riedel
For the past eight years, the University of Vermont has sent letters to locals with information about move-in weekend. These are intended to prepare the community for the number of students coming to campus, said Pat Brown, director of Student Life. "When [students] come back it brings a level of energy that is exciting," Brown said. "Transitioning takes a lot of time and energy, and there's a lot of work behind the scenes." "You've got theoretically 25 percent moving off-campus, and we try to get them ready for moving in as well," Brown said. The Office of Student and Community Relations provides students and residents with resources to help integrate students into the community, said assistant director John Mejia. OSCR works with neighbor-hood groups and includes students on staff to help facilitate communication, Mejia said. "Our job is helping people become friends," he said.  
University of Florida's Vision for Community Preeminence Earns International Award
UF News, by Staff Writers
A plan for the University of Florida to advance its quest for preeminence by blending spaces and resources with Gainesville and neighborhoods surrounding campus received a top international award this summer. UF's Strategic Development Plan to create a national model for town-gown relationships, guided by CEO Charles Lane, earned the Society for College and University Planning's 2017 "Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus" award. The plan outlines a bold, collaborative partnership with civic leaders, residents, the business community, Santa Fe College and other area groups to reimagine the design, function and possibilities of modern universities and their host cities. "What I love about this plan is how it addresses our community's greatest challenges by drawing on its greatest strengths," said UF President Kent Fuchs. This helps us rethink town-gown relationships. 
Dalhousie Bans Booze During Orientation Week in 'Harm-Reduction' Effort
CBCNews, by Anjuli Patil
Dalhousie University is banning booze from its residences during orientation week, but will rely on education and not punishment to encourage first-year and other incoming students to make better decisions around alcohol. "Our main goal here is to practise alcohol harm-reduction programming," Cory Larsen, Dalhousie Student Union's vice-president of student life, said in an interview with CBC Radio's Maritime Noon. "Our whole reason for this is exactly to shirt that culture as seeing orientation week as a party-hard week to more of an educational, integrative, getting-used-to-your-surroundings week." Residences at Dalhousie will use a "restorative justice process" to deal with students who break the drinking rule, Larsen said, and not resort to fines or other penalties. A number of tragic cases in Nova Scotia involving binge drinking deaths helped shape this program.   
LION Bash Brings Hope for a More Respectful Student Population
Daily Collegian, by Katie Johnson
The annual LION Bash is a community resource fair and block party that aims to connect locals with students, as well as educate the community on State College Borough services and ordinances. However, to one State College resident, LION-Living In One Neighborhood-Bash is a small shimmer of hope for a more respectful student population. Peter Rinehart, UPUA College of Earth and Mineral Sciences representative, said they have been "making a conscious effort" to partner with the Borough by promoting downtown as more of a "student friendly place," beginning with their recycling initiative. UPUA partnered with members of the Borough on Sustain State College and passed out recycling bins to make State College and Penn State a "greener" community. While some relationships might still need mending between the two communities, residents are hopeful relations will improve. 
Town/Gown Events Bring Safety Upgrades to Residents Nationwide 
PRNewswire, by Staff Writers
In honor of the thirteenth annual National Campus Fire Safety Month this September, First Alert and Campus Firewatch will launch the Inaugural Town/Gown Fire Safety Community Service Project. In partnership with fire departments and universities across the country, the initiative will raise awareness among students and community members at-large about the importance of properly equipping their residences with smoke alarms. The greatest risk to students is in off-campus housing, where most students live. Since 2006, all of the college-related fire deaths have happened off-campus, according to the United States Fire Administration. Of these fatal fires, 58 percent of the student homes had smoke alarms that were either missing or deactivated due to disconnection or battery removal. "Collaborative events like these can make a significant impact in improving fire safety for thousands of individuals," said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. 
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The ITGA strengthens town and gown partnerships by providing a network of professionals and resources, identifying and sharing leading practices, innovative solutions and professional development opportunities for municipal and university communities. 
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