SGA to implement Good Neighbor Program to maintain good town-gown relations

The Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Student Government Association plans to implement a program similar to Clarion University’s Good Neighbor Program, which helps maintain a good relationship between students and community members.

The program is an idea that was brought back from Saturday’s Board of Student Government 2014 Leadership Conference in Harrisburg, SGA President Marissa Olean (junior, criminology) said at Tuesday’s SGA meeting.

“Residents are told that if they have a problem with students partying near their homes, they should approach them instead of calling the police,” Olean said.

The program is all about speaking to students in a nice, respectful manner instead of automatically calling the police, she said. Students tend to be more sympathetic toward residents who come and speak to them face to face as opposed to a police officer banging on their doors.

The goal of the Good Neighbor Program is to reduce “quality of life concerns such as loud noise, fighting behaviors, harassment, underage drinking and drug abuse, which may negatively impact life on and off campus,” according to Clarion’s website.

“It seems to work really well for Clarion,” Olean said. “They’ve noticed that there aren’t as many issues.”

She also reported that the training sessions for CrimsonConnect went well.

“Everyone who showed up really liked the software and picked up on it very quickly,” she said.

In other business, Safety and Security Chair Louis Bovan (senior, management information systems) will speak to the borough council Thursday about the condition of the road that runs under the sky bridge of the Hadley Union Building.

The road is off campus, so it is technically borough territory, he said.

“I know they did a little bit of patching,” he said, “but every time I go over it with my truck, I still feel like I’m going to go home with three wheels.”

SGA will also have an Earth Day booth in the Oak Grove Tuesday, April 22, according to Sustainability Chair Taylor Billman (senior, management). SGA members will pass out cups of dirt with a seed in the center, as well as the dessert cups of dirt, he said.

An SGA recruitment table will be set up in front of Foster Dining Hall in either the fall or spring semester, Bovan said.

The location in front of Foster is meant to directly target freshmen and sophomores for SGA recruitment, he said.