Aug 262009
 
Authors: K.C. Fleming

“Selling keg cups without a permit is against the law.” “It’s a big mistake to rent a place without looking inside.”

These are some of little snippets of advice given to residents in about 2,000 houses in the area around campus Wednesday night. The former sits on a five of hearts. The latter sits on a six of clubs.

About 100 students, faculty and CSU Police Department volunteers canvassed the vicinity around the university knocking on doors to give the decks of cards to residents. Some even left them in mailboxes.

The effort was part of a program orchestrated by Off-Campus Life and The City of Fort Collins called Community Welcome that aimed to improve relationships between new and returning students and Fort Collins residents.

Community Welcome began about a decade ago to quell arguments between the two demographics, as some area residents cite squabbles with students who exhibit unruly behavior.

“The goal is to do some education but also to create a little bit of a relationship between the students and their neighbors, the citizens — the taxpayers as we call them,” said Jim Byrne, an officer with CSUPD who organized police participation.

The volunteers handed out the informational decks of cards and educated off-campus students on how to party responsibly.

Mitch Brown, a homeowner whose children attended CSU in the early 2000s, said the program is necessary, citing an incident where he caught a student kicking in his fence in the middle of the night.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Brown said, but added that more need to happen in the future to help build community relationships. “It’s not going to be a fix all.”

One student resident said the program is beneficial to relationships between the city and students.

“I think it’s a really good idea especially with the older people living around here,” said Sarah Brown, a sophomore liberal arts major.

Staff writer K.C. Fleming can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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