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University Committee Campaigns for "Good Neighbor" Practices Among Students
15-Point Plan emphasizes safety, positive relations between student and community

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

Note to Editors: Photo Opportunity
UAlbany Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs Director Tom Gebhardt, the Albany Police Department and a long term neighbor will be distributing brochures Wednesday, August 31, 5-6 p.m. on Hamilton Street, from Quail to Ontario (starting at the corner of Quail and Hamilton at 5 p.m.).
ALBANY, N.Y. (August 31, 2005) -- The University at Albany along with the Albany Police Department, the city of Albany and residents and members of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, will greet this year's off-campus students with messages of safety, personal responsibility and guidelines for good neighborhood behavior.

During the week of September 5, the committee (the committee on University & Community Relations) will 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 brochure addresses behavior, safety and off-campus student-tenant issues, and is one component of the committee's comprehensive "Fifteen-Point Plan" to continue efforts to make the off-campus environment safer and more secure for students and city residents.

"The University is dedicated to promoting safe, responsible behavior in our students, and we're taking a pro-active approach to achieve this," said University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall. "By partnering with the city of Albany, the Albany Police Department and most importantly our fellow citizens in the surrounding communities, local residents will come to see that the university and its students are serious about being good neighbors."

The committee also distributed 3,000 door tags entitled "YOUr Safety Begins With YOU!"/"Community Service & Fines for Having a Party?" at residences in student-dense neighborhoods. The publication describes City of Albany and New York State laws and ordinances that could be violated as a result of a house party and offers various safety tips.

Committee members move door-to-door in selected blocks to welcome students back and discuss their rights and responsibilities regarding safety, behavior and quality of life issues.

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 was disseminated concerning local laws, safety on and off campus, and altered/fake IDs; an annual meeting with local tavern owners and representatives from the New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, APD and neighborhood groups about recognizing fake/altered IDs; and meetings with various student groups, including representatives of the university's fraternities and sororities.

"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 advertised its 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," 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 seventh 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. The program was expanded in July to the communities surrounding Hudson Avenue, Ontario Street, Hamilton Street and Quail Street.


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