Oct 102010
Authors: Erin Udell

After working as the community liaison between the city of Fort Collins and CSU for five years, Melissa Emerson resigned from her position Thursday afternoon.

Emerson accepted the position of assistant director for the university’s Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.
The new community liaison will be chosen in the next few weeks, said Jeannie Ortega, the director of Off-Campus Life.

“Certainly it’s a loss to our office because of the tremendous amount of work she has done,” Ortega said. “At the same time we’re very supportive of her seeking other opportunities.”

As community liaison, Emerson split her time between Fort Collins’ Neighborhood Services and the university’s Off-Campus Life office to promote a positive neighborhood environment for students and non-student residents.

The position of community liaison involves an inter-governmental agreement that states that the city must pay half of Emerson’s salary and programming. CSU pays her $52,938, according to the 2010 salary exercise.

Beth Sowder, Neighborhood Services manager, said the department was sad to see Emerson go.

“She was a good representative for both the city of Fort Collins and CSU,” Sowder said.

Over her years as liaison Emerson helped create and implement programs like Party Registration and Fall Clean-Up, two projects meant to improve relations between students and their neighbors.

Other programs Emerson controlled during her tenure aimed to educate students about living off-campus. “Community Welcome,” an annual event every August, involves police officers, students and neighbors going door-to-door and educating tenants about city ordinances, nuisance behaviors and tips on being a good neighbor.

After moving from her position as community liaison, Emerson will be able to deal more directly with students in her new job at Conduct Resolution and Student Conduct Services.

Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services aims to resolve student conflicts and support students in character development and ethical decision-making, the area in which she received her master’s degree.

“We had her here for five years and got nothing but great, excellent work,” Sowder said of Emerson. “Now she’s doing something she’s always wanted to do.”

City Council beat reporter Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:26 pm

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