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University Committee Promotes Safe and "Good Neighbor" Practices Among Students
15-Point Plan highlights safety tips, positive relations between students and community

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 7, 2007) -- The University at Albany, in its leadership role on the 17-year-old Committee on University & Community Relations, in cooperation with the Albany Police Department, the city of Albany and residents/members of the Pine Hills and Beverwyck Neighborhood Associations, will help welcome off-campus students by offering messages of safety, personal responsibility and guidelines for good neighborhood behavior. It is part of a "Fifteen-Point Plan" to continue efforts to make the off-campus environment safer and more secure for students and city residents.

Throughout student-dense neighborhoods, representatives from the Albany Police Department, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, the College of St. Rose Safety/Security Department and UAlbany's Office of Personal Safety & Off-Campus Affairs will travel door-to-door at 4 p.m. Sept. 10 to discuss students' rights and responsibilities regarding quality of life issues, safety and behavior.

"By educating our student body on ways to decrease irresponsible behavior, we're taking a proactive approach in trying to curtail such actions," said Tom Gebhardt, director of UAlbany's Office of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs and chairman of the Committee on University & Community Relations. "With exceptional cooperation among UAlbany, other area colleges, local businesses, taverns, government agencies, neighborhood associations, law enforcement, and our neighbors in Albany, we can continue to offer positive initiatives and keep students and the public well-informed."

The Committee will also distribute 3,000 brochures entitled "Off-Campus Student Survival Guide, How to be Safer and a Better Neighbor" this week. The brochure addresses behavior, safety and off-campus student-tenant issues. Later this semester, roughly 3,000 "Landowner and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities" brochures will also be distributed door-to-door throughout surrounding neighborhoods.

Students in UAlbany's residence halls, Freedom Quadrangle and Empire Commons, will be receiving fliers entitled "Off-Campus Guide for On-Campus Students -- Safety Tips and What You Don't Know Can Get You Into Trouble Off Campus," which outline various ordinances and laws, as well as off-campus safety tips.

Other activities to combat inappropriate off-campus behavior and improve safety include an annual meeting with local tavern owners and representatives from the New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, APD and neighborhood groups about recognizing fake/altered IDs; meetings with various student groups, including representatives of the university's fraternities and sororities; promoting a personal safety awareness initiative, which offers safety tips on not walking alone and being aware of outside surroundings; The University at Albany's "WhistleWatch Safety Program"; and a late night/early morning 'safety walk & talk' in the midtown district by UAlbany's Office of Personal Safety & Off-Campus Affairs, the APD and the College of St. Rose Safety/Security Department.

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

In late August, the Committee distributed door tags entitled "How Safe Are You?" and "Arrests & Fines for Having a Party?" in the Beverwyck and Pine Hills Neighborhoods. The publication highlights the city of Albany and New York State laws and ordinances that could be violated as a result of a house party, as well as various safety tips and recruitment information for the "Midtown Neighborhood Watch."

The University and the Committee also held its 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 University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit theUniversity at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

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