The annual Community Welcome, an event that links community members and off-campus Colorado State University students, will be held 5-8 p.m. Wed., Aug. 26.
The event, sponsored by the city of Fort Collins and Colorado State, involves about 100 volunteers representing Fort Collins and CSU Police, city and university staff, and students who will visit more than 2,000 homes near the Colorado State University campus. Teams will fan out in neighborhoods close to campus providing information to residents outlining their responsibilities, including expectations for respecting local codes and ordinances.
Households will receive an educational deck of cards that contain messages such as, “Take the initiative and get to know your neighbors” and “You have a right to party but your neighbors have a right to sleep.”
“Each year, I explain to students the importance of getting to know their neighbors,” said Melissa Emerson, community liaison for Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins. “If they tell their story, for instance, where they are from and what their major is, the long-term resident might be more willing to speak to the student should an issue arise later in the year. Rather than being just another student, they are now ‘Jimmy, the engineering major from Iowa.’”
Emerson wants to make the back-to-school transition safe and enjoyable for new members of the community and long-term residents. She encourages students to exhibit responsible off-campus living practices by becoming informed on noise, trash, public nuisance and snow ordinances, as well as keeping neighbors informed before undertaking something that might affect them, like hosting a party.
In addition to distributing information off campus, students living with Apartment Life or in CSU residence halls will receive information about city ordinances and resources. “This year we are telling the story of Rose; an elderly neighbor who lives in close proximity to campus,” Emerson said. “In an effort to help students understand the impact of their behavior in the neighborhoods, Rose asks the simple question, ‘Would you pee on your Grandma’s yard?’”
Community Welcome is a collaborative effort between CSU Off-Campus Life, Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Associated Students of Colorado State University, Fort Collins Neighborhood Services, Fort Collins Police Services and the CSU Police Department.
For more information, contact Melissa Emerson at Melissa.Emerson@colostate.edu or (970) 491-6707.