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News Release

 

University Committee Promotes "Good Neighbor" Practices Among Students

Contact: Karl Luntta(518) 437-4980

NOTE to EDITORS: PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
UAlbany Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs Director Tom Gebhardt and UAlbany students will be distributing brochures Thursday, Sept. 4, 12-1:30 p.m. in the State, Quail, Ontario, and Spring streets area.

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 3, 2003) -- The UAlbany-lead Committee on University and Community Relations will this week distribute 3,000 brochures entitled “Off-Campus Student Survival Guide, How to be Safer and a Better Neighbor" door-to-door in the Beverwyck and Pine Hills neighborhoods. The brochures will address behavior, safety and off-campus student-tenant issues, and is one component of the committee's comprehensive "Thirteen-Point Plan" to continue efforts to make the off-campus environment safer and more secure for students and city residents.

Last week, the committee distributed 3,000 door tags entitled “Community Service & Fines for Having a Party?” at residences in the same student-dense neighborhoods. The publication described City of Albany and New York State laws and ordinances that could be violated as a result of a house party.

The committee's efforts will also see teams of representatives from the Albany Police Department (APD), neighbors, University at Albany students, the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, and the Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs of the University at Albany go door-to-door in selected blocks to welcome students back and discuss their rights and responsibilities regarding safety, behavior and quality of life issues. Problems that have been encountered on these blocks in the past and what steps current student residents can take to prevent them will be discussed in face-to-face meetings.

Other activities in this ongoing and proactive plan to combat inappropriate off-campus behavior include distributing information to residence hall students describing behaviors that often get students into trouble off campus, along with off-campus safety tips; participation by APD and the University Police Department (UPD) in the annual “Health & Wellness Fair” at the university’s all-freshmen Indian Quadrangle, during which information will be disseminated concerning local laws, safety on and off campus, and altered/fake IDs; an annual pre-school meeting with local tavern owners and representatives from the New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, APD and neighborhood groups about responsible alcohol sales and the new Keg Registration Law; and meetings with various student groups, including representatives of the Interfraternity Council.

"The safety of our students and neighbors is a constant priority," said Tom Gebhardt, director of UAlbany's Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs. "We have exceptional cooperation in our committee among the University at Albany, other area colleges, local business people, tavern owners, government agencies, neighborhood associations, law enforcement, and our neighbors in Albany to reach that goal. The best way to decrease alcohol abuse and irresponsible behavior is to educate our student body, to continue our proactive initiatives to reduce such behaviors, and keep our students and the public well-informed about these constructive approaches."

UAlbany has also instituted an advertising campaign promoting its "Off-Campus Hotline" (tel. 442-5888) for long-term neighbors and students to report problems or concerns. Responding to calls will be the University's Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs in conjunction with APD, as well as neighborhood associations and appropriate city offices.

An intensive awareness campaign concerning the University at Albany’s "WhistleWatch Safety Program," sponsored by the President's Task Force on Women's Safety in cooperation with APD and UPD, will take place in the traditional student neighborhoods. This initiative will include information on the program and on how to secure a WhistleWatch Whistle.

Over the summer, the University, in conjunction with the Committee on University and Community Relations, undertook its third annual “lighting and safety survey” to identify and recommend steps to make the area in the vicinity of Alumni Quadrangle, the College of St. Rose, Albany High School and the LaSalle School safer.


Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu


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