CN Meeting Notes 3/15/11

Campus Neighbors Meeting, March 15, 2011
At the East Hillside Community Center
Hosts: Councelor Tony Cuneo and UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black

Notes taken by Myrna Matheson

Chancellor  Lendley C. Black became Chancellor at UMD on August 1, 2010.  He stated that he is a resident of a Campus Neighborhood on East Kent Road.  There is college student housing near his home.  He stated his belief that campus neighborhoods work best with a balanced mixture of age groups.  The behavior of 18-24 year olds can be unpredictable.  But response to these behaviors can be controlled through programs, which prevent and alleviate undesirable behaviors.   He invites calls to his office or emails at  Harmful rumors can be dispelled with proper information.

UMD would like to foster a stronger presence throughout the city of Duluth.  Some ideas that have been proposed include classes held in a downtown area,  art displays from the Tweed Museum, and mixed use development.  Downtown, East Fourth Street and Woodland are areas, which have been suggested.

Chancellor Black cited the Alliance group, which focuses the area around the Twin Cities campuses.  With a grant, this group was able to purchase and clean up problem properties.  UMD has some money set aside for a similar purpose, which could be enhanced by partnering with government or other agencies. View Alliance website here.

A review of substance abuse problems at UMD has revealed lower numbers.  Enforcement of the social host ordinance and greater coordination between the Duluth Police Department and UMD police has helped.  UMD police help with parking problems near the campus.  They intervene with parties both with initial warnings and backup of the DPD during disturbances.

The current remodeling of a residence hall will result in 280 more beds for a total of 3500 beds.  A total of 30% of undergraduates live on campus.  Parking for campus residents seems to be ample.

UMD recently celebrated a landmark of 500,000 bus rides for students and is negotiating a six-year agreement with DTA.

A question about whether  Campus Neighbors could be a part of freshman orientation led to the introduction of Lauretta Perry, Community Program Specialist who deals with alcohol and drug presentations.    726-8155.

Another question referred Chancellor Black to a College of St. Scholastica program of orientation for students who plan to live off campus.

A representative of Chester Park Methodist Church inquired about ways in which their congregation  could be helpful to students. She was referred to the Council of  Religious Advisors  726-8737.

UMD’s enrollment is 11,700, with 10,000 undergraduates.  The enrollment has increased 1-2%  per year recently.  Strategic planning is determining specific areas of study for future growth.

Pam Kramer of LISC  introduced her organization’s activities in affordable housing especially in assisting the medical district to find housing near its facilities for its employees..  Perhaps LISC could assist with finding housing for young faculty and staff near the campus.  She also inquired about environmental studies at UMD.

John Vigen reviewed his work on campus issues since 1975 and expressed his gratitude with Chancellor Black’s willingness to meet with us in person.  He said that students living in single-family houses are not residents long enough to be stakeholders in neighborhood concerns.  Campus Neighbors is not anti-student, but desire an appropriate mix in housing and behavior.

Tony Cuneo voiced appreciation of the discussion of new ideas for integrating students to Duluth.  Chancellor Black mentioned similar efforts in Savannah, GA  Pam Kramer cited the help of the Knight Foundation in efforts in Akron, OH.  Sandy Robinson added that similar information can be found on the Campus Neighbors website.

The UMD campus, its students and their relatives add $374,000.000 to the Duluth economy each year.

Drew Digby mentioned that students provide 50.000 hours of service to the community, but that it is difficult to find which departments could provide information about this resource.  Chancellor Black agreed that this could be improved.

Other suggestions  were including campus neighbors in the university’s strategic plan;  urging landlords to help train students on how to live in a neighborhood;  holding a second national night out gathering  after students have arrived in the fall.

Chancellor Black  summarized that campuses need good relations between residents and students in order to thrive. Mayor Ness has spoken about making the campus more inviting and having a strong neighborhood around it.  The community needs and deserves positive experiences with students.

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