Parties may be a great way to make new friends but are not always the best way be a good neighbor. This was the lesson students living in the Pond Street area learned at the beginning of the school year. Police have received several calls about loud parties in the area, according to Off-Campus Board President Lindsey Delia.
“A couple parties got out of hand,” Delia said. “It was a bit of a scene.”
To help ease tensions, members of the OCB visited homes in that area, distributing fliers containing information about laws and tips on being a good neighbor.
Sam Brennan, part of the OCB Executive Board, said that the Pond Street residents were happy to see them.
“They were appreciative, especially the homeowners,” Brennan said. “They were glad to see that we were helping.”
Delia said the students were willing to work to make a change for the better.
“The students who lived there also seemed interested and said they would want to get involved in the community,” Delia said.
She said that the goal is not only to correct current problems but to also form a more positive reputation for the town and the students who live there.
“This area is a historical party spot. And as such, it has reputation with the town of Orono and the Orono police, which could have a negative effect on students who live in that area now,” Delia said
Problems like these are why the OCB exists, as well as to help students with any other issues that come with living off-campus.
Members of the OCB, such as Orono Community Representative David Zieroth, feel that students are not utilizing this asset.
“Honestly, I do not think that students are as knowledgeable about the OCB as they should be,” Zieroth said.
Delia said this is something she hopes to change.
“One of our goals, at least one of mine, was definitely to get the word out about OCB this semester, about who we are and what we do,” she said.
The group has also visited fraternity houses, delivering information, and letting students know who OCB is. Delia said such efforts are a good place to start getting their name out.
“I think it can only help and further the aims of the OCB. We are here to serve the off campus residents and enhance their college lives in anyway we can,” she said.
Delia said that while the OCB is not working on any other issues at the moment, they are always available to help.
“If any off-campus student is having a problem, with a landlord, town officials, or any other facet of off-campus living, we would like to help in any way. Come on down and talk to us, and we’ll see what we can do for you,” she said.
Delia said that positive neighbor relationships can not only be achieved through work of the OCB, but through the efforts off each student living off-campus.
“I encourage students to get to know their neighbors wherever they live,” she said. “It definitely can impact your living situation for better or worse.”