Author: Michael Darling
This semester has been marked by an increase in reports of off- campus violations and tension between campus and the Eagle Rock community. In response to this, ASOC President Andrew DeBlock (senior) created the Off Campus Student Coalition to represent students living off campus and improve relations between students who live off campus, neighbors and the administration.
At the group’s most recent meeting on Dec. 1, they developed plans for the Coalition next semester. The group intends to hold an event within the first two weeks of the spring semester in the quad featuring a root beer keg and drinking cups covered in information about the Coalition. Additionally, members of the group will be passing out the group’s documents explaining the its objectives, and students will be asked to participate in writing the Coalition’s constitution. Around this time, the organization will send representatives to hall spreads to talk about proper off-campus etiquette and reach out to on-campus students to join the organization. The group also intends to host an event with neighbors off campus and meet with local groups like the Alumni Avenue Neighborhood Association.
On the evening of Nov. 13, DeBlock, Dean of Students Barbara Avery and other administrators met with members of the community to discuss the current uneasy state of Oxy’s relationship with its neighbors. At the meeting, neighbors offered suggestions ranging from having students warn their neighbors about upcoming parties to, as one neighbor put it, the administration “bringing the hammer down” on students who violate policies. They also offered suggestions of how students could work with neighbors to improve the relationship with students. DeBlock told the assembled neighbors that some of these ideas, such as a community fair were already being considered by the Off Campus Student Coalition.
DeBlock said that the meeting was a success, but that this was only the start. “It went fairly well, the real key is going to be follow up. To do a half-assed job of follow up will be a failure,” said DeBlock.
Dean Avery also said that the meeting went well and offered encouragement for DeBlock’s efforts. “Andrew’s got to keep this going. I’ve always been worried about bringing students and neighbors together, but he handled it well,” said Avery.
Avery also said that one way to reduce off-campus incidents is to have more on-campus events. “We need to have something going on every weekend. We have to do [more events]. This is a residential campus, students need options” she added.
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