Citizens For A Better Norwood

Thursday, December 11, 2008

X.U. responds to SNNA pressure with new advisory board

According to this lengthy article in the current issue of the Xavier Newswire, Xavier University has formed a Neighborhood Advisory Board in response to the South Norwood Neighborhood Association’s complaints about the disruptive behavior of students who live in our community. This sounds like a good first step in the right direction. SNNA founders Russell Johnson and his wife Amy Schardein; and members Bill Graff, also with WNNA; Cami Geraci; and Rev. Angelo J. Pupolo, Jr. are quoted in the piece. Following are some excerpts:

Xavier has formed a Neighborhood Advisory Board where residents, students and administrators can gather together to try to discuss possible solutions to improve off-campus relations between students and administrators. Dean of Students Dr. Luther Smith said that the goal of this board is to “create dialogue and not to just serve as a complaint board for community members to voice their concerns.”…A preliminary meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 17. Dr. Smith, Assistant Director for Apartments and Off-Campus Living Angie Kneflin, representatives from Norwood and North Avondale and two students, SGA senator James McShane and Anne Genalo met to discuss possible strategies to solve problems.

…Besides the solutions that the advisory board is currently working on, residents want Xavier to better inform students of neighborhood laws and ordinances and to hold landlords more accountable for how they maintain their property. Norwood residents have also expressed concerns that Xavier currently does not require students to provide any address besides a home address. Residents like Cami Geraci believe that not only does this present a problem since Xavier does not know where in the community students live, but also is a safety concern for students in case of emergencies.

…Dr. Smith said that Xavier has had problems in trying to collect local addresses of students before, but Smith and Kneflin are currently trying to work with other University departments to find a way to find addresses of students who live in surrounding communities. This will hold students more accountable for their actions, as well as help to better serve students so that Xavier can better assist students who live off-campus.

…Xavier has also taken a step to better inform off-campus students off their rights and responsibilities through the creation of the position of assistant director of off-campus living. Angie Kneflin, Assistant Director of Residence Life for Apartments has taken on this role, which previously did not exist.

Founders of the South Norwood Neighborhood Association, Russell Johnson and Amy Schardein, also want Xavier to be held more accountable in the behavior of off-campus students. They also think that Xavier “should house more of its undergraduate students on-campus or in campus-owned housing” since they say “pushing the undergraduate students to off-campus housing is relegating its responsibility for those students onto the neighboring communities.”