The relationship between the city of Fort Collins and CSU is critical. That is why I am genuinely looking forward to this column as an opportunity to talk about city issues that are important to you.
Without CSU, Fort Collins would be a drastically different community. The university’s presence helps keep Fort Collins vibrant and progressive. In the dozens of “best of” awards bestowed on Fort Collins, CSU is consistently sited as a major contributing factor.
Similarly, CSU’s success depends on the Fort Collins community. The outdoor recreation, thriving downtown and innovative culture are part of the reason many chose to go to school here, and many more choose to stay here after graduation.
Fortunately, the city and CSU relationship is stronger than ever.
The city recognizes the important and valuable role you play in this community, and we’re trying to be responsive to students’ needs. For example, the Community Liaison program (a jointly funded effort to create positive relationships between students and neighbors) is helping students transition from the residence halls to Fort Collins neighborhoods.
Those of you who have already made this leap know that living off campus is a big change. Guidebooks, educational campaigns and videos provide helpful tips on picking roommates and a place to live, your rights as a tenant, city codes and ordinances and even responsible party behavior.
Supported by a portion of your student fees, Transfort offers free, unlimited bus service to CSU students. Your RamCard is now your bus pass. Plus, because of your feedback, Transfort added night service to Routes 3 and 6.
And you, the students, deserve a lot of credit for building a strong town and campus relationship. Through CSUnity and the Fall Cleanup, you donate thousands of hours of volunteer time to help nonprofit organizations and neighbors with yard work, park and trail cleanup, gutter cleaning and more.
During Community Welcome, hundreds of CSU students along with police personnel, neighbors and staff, go door-to-door in neighborhoods educating tenants and residents on city ordinances, good neighboring and nuisance behaviors. This type of interaction between students and neighbors builds community and creates a positive environment.
Together, we’ve made great strides in strengthening the relationship between students and neighbors, but candidly, this relationship isn’t always easy. We need to continue to work on tough issues such as the occupancy ordinance, noise enforcement and party patrol. ASCSU has taken an active interest in city policies that impact students and are working to assure your point of view is represented in decisions.
Many decisions City Council will make over the coming months and years will impact you directly; I think that’s why ASCSU asked me to begin this column — to share my perspective on these important issues and open up a conversation so we can learn more about your thoughts.
Whether Fort Collins will be your home for the next four years or the next 40, you are an important part of this community. By getting to know your neighbors, becoming involved in your community and enjoying all that Fort Collins offers you are helping make Fort Collins a great community, and for that I want to say thanks.
Darin Atteberry is the Fort Collins City Manager. You can reach him at email@example.com or (970) 221-6505. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.