October 25, 2004
'Good Neighborhood Initiative' under way
By Louise Donahue
Improving the town-gown relationship in Santa Cruz is the goal
of the Good Neighborhood Initiative, directed by
UCSCs Government and Community Relations Office.
While the campus has many positive impacts on the community,
the Good Neighborhood Initiative is designed to increase awareness
of less-positive impacts--in areas such as housing and traffic--and
promote ways to alleviate those problems.
The Good Neighborhood Initiative is an expansion of Acting
Chancellor Martin M. Chemerss effort, announced in May,
to minimize traffic on overloaded residential streets by encouraging
drivers to use Mission Street and Bay Street as the primary
access routes to the campus.
Chemers wanted students to be involved in efforts to improve
community relations and added two new students--biology junior
Kristen Townsend and Anthony Tucci, a second-year history major--to
his Chancellors Undergraduate Internship Program to play
key roles in the new initiative.
We hope the initiative will result in an increased awareness
that were all one community, said government and
community relations director Donna Blitzer, whose office is
serving as a liaison between the students and the administration.
We want to provide an opportunity for more interaction
between neighbors and the students.
The interns have already begun conducting interviews with individuals
and groupsboth on campus and in the community--to gain
a better understanding of some of the specific concerns and
complaints about traffic, transportation, and housing.
Later, they will be putting together a public relations campaign
to increase student awareness of what being a good neighbor
The people Ive talked to have been very open, but
have complained about parking, parties, and trash, said
Tucci. One person, he said, cited the problem of trash being
left out in bags, rather than in animal-proof bins, resulting
in trash being strewn around.
Townsend, who lives off campus, said the issues she has heard
aboutincluding parking and noise--hit close to home. These
are some issues we have on my street, she said. Townsend
wants to help students understand that community concerns are
widespread: Its not just one person complaining.
Questions, comments, and concerns about the Good Neighbor Initiative
are encouraged, and may be directed to Townsend and Tucci at
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