Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned around any town gown issues?
APPA > Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned around any town gown issues?
Our campus operates as the town park. Though I believe our community understands the campus closure to visitors as a mutual safety benefit for both students and community residents, some are disappointed with the loss of access to the campus grounds and the arboretum.
Our neighbors very much appreciated the use of our campus and track during the shutdown. Some are understanding about our reclaiming it now that we are open; others feel we have no right to close to public access.
De-densification of on campus housing pushed more students into the community which initially raised concerns. Adherence to mask wearing, social distancing, and limitations on gathering size has raised alarms in the community. Joint enforcement with local and campus police has been implemented. Loss of business revenue due to de-densification has also been challenging to the local economy.
Large gatherings off campus required close coordination between the university and the city on enforcement and expectations.
Could have better communicated our plans for mitigating transmission of COVID-19 with City/County before the start of the fall semester.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
The university and the town worked together all summer preparing for the return of students. The biggest challenge was communicating all the steps that were being taken to keep the entire community safe over the coming weeks and months.
The institutions, schools, and the city all need to be on the same page and follow the same plan so each entity doesn’t cause issues for all involved.
Transparency in messaging to the college community and the local community is paramount in having a successful understanding of what’s happening on campus.
Even though the state of NC has loosened restrictions on gatherings, the town mandated a 10 person indoor limit on gatherings and a 25 person outdoor limit on gatherings. This was done more or less to help control the students in off-campus housing.
Borough residents are very nervous about students coming back.
As of two weeks ago, municipal leadership seemed satisfied with the policies and procedures the campus has put in place and has expressed a desire to bring as many people as “safely possible”, back to campus.
How to keep our students and the town safe. The town worked very hard to make sure that landlords knew they had to have strict rules on gatherings in their houses.
Bars and rental student housing hosting large numbers of students, resulting in rapid spread of infections.
Concerns from local residents about large influx of students; held many virtual town halls and similar forums to answer questions.
We were immediately blamed for the increase in our local numbers, but much of that was misconstrued by the media since cases would be reported to the student’s official home residence and not locally. The University works closely with the city to ensure communication remains open and transparent.
No protests, yet, on campus. Certainly some still springing up in local communities. Addressing grievances and allowing participation while cautioning about extent was key. Local cities are concerned about how things will proceed, but they are also dependent upon student dollars being spent in local businesses. Also, City of Berkeley is only one in our county with its own health department, so they had specific guidance that was stricter than the county. Double-checking adherence was key.
The city/mayor was very concerned about the return of students. There are other colleges in this area but it appears most of the blame is pointed at UVM. Most off campus issues have to do with upper classmen having parties with no social distancing and large gatherings. The city issued a $200 fine to the party planner, but it appears no other fines were handed out and the university should have been harsher to set the example right off the bat.
Managing expectations and maintaining social distancing discipline.
City has a vague mask ordinance that doesn’t coalesce with the campus policy. Police aren’t required to wear masks, but students are, so that creates messaging complications.
Keep in communications w/ local health departments and media.
The surrounding community is impacted by our numbers meaning that K-12 schools cannot meet the levels to return those kids to schools, because our positive cases are too high.
People are watching off campus and have no issues with reporting non-compliance by students to the college complete with dates, times, addresses and pictures.
Everyone discovered that as strict as you are on campus, it is much harder to influence and manage behavior in off-campus apartments. Town implemented mandatory-masking and restricted-gathering ordinances with fines for violations.
City is concerned with the campus being a COVID hotspot.
University needs to be ready to take clear and concise action based on expectations of students both on and off campus.
The community is fearful of students bringing the virus with them.
We have regular Town and Gown meetings which really helped with this. Biggest challenge is students living off campus and their actions impacting others in the community/campus.
Working with local bars and landlords.
We have 384 acres of land and the town people like to walk the campus but we had to close it down. They understood but still didn’t like it.
Preconceptions are difficult to overcome.
Social gatherings continue to be an issue for nearly every University.
Despite careful Health and Safety planning for reopening in the fall, the college will remain in fully remote operations and instruction during Fall Term, anticipating the same for Winter Term.
Funding for COVID precautions.
We involved the town but should have involved them more and had more transparency.
Working with local leadership to manage protests.
Police and Dean of Students responding at times to report off campus gatherings. Students have been respectful and responding appropriately.
Social gatherings were observed prior to classes starting, frats were banned. Public outcry.
A concern that students would return and infect the community.
Local 14 day resolution has been passed prohibiting sale of alcohol to individuals not seated. This is in effect closing down the clubs and bars.