News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Flashpoint

September 25, 2011

FLASHPOINT: Collegiate relations committee proposal addresses neighborhood ills

TERRE HAUTE — With the beginning of the school year, it is apparent that Terre Haute is a college town in many respects, especially for those who live in the Farrington’s Grove neighborhood, south of downtown. Many students live in the area and a large number of them live in fraternity houses affiliated with both Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Although there are some sorority houses in neighborhoods adjacent to ISU’s campus, the vast majority of Greek system houses in Terre Haute are occupied by young men.

While students are responsible neighbors for the most part, sometimes their exuberance overflows onto the yards and streets — celebrating the beginning of the school year, rush, a home football game, or just plain partying.

The residents of Farrington’s Grove are an understanding bunch. Many are connected to our local colleges and university. If they wanted a very quiet life, they would live in another neighborhood. Most understand that fraternities provide a service by occupying grand old homes for which there is a limited market today. Fraternities also help out with neighborhood clean-ups and do other service projects.

However, sometimes things get out of hand. Thirty-nine underage drinkers were cited recently at a party in Farrington’s Grove. The first weekend that ISU was back, police had to cruise South Sixth Street to break up hundreds of students spilling onto the street, many of whom were underage drinkers.

From reports of neighbors, these situations are becoming more common and they need to be addressed in a responsible manner. The neighborhood is already stressed by lax code enforcement, some uncaring landlords, and a growing number of vacant, abandoned properties.

If elected mayor, I will appoint a Terre Haute Collegiate Relations Committee that will bring representatives of our city, colleges and university, police and neighborhoods to the table to solve our shared problems. This committee will work together to establish expectations for behavior and deal with frictions between neighbors and the students who live among them, fostering open communication and building community.

Beginning in the early 1970s, colleges and universities stopped acting “in place of parents” on their campuses. One of the consequences was that institutions took little responsibility for students living off campus, especially fraternities. Fraternities are an important part of the life of both ISU and Rose-Hulman. Frat brothers forge relationships, often do better in school and, importantly, stay in school in greater numbers. All institutions of higher learning want to retain more students and see them reach the finish line of graduation.

ISU is evolving in its attitude toward its responsibilities to fraternities and is willing to step up to the plate. My proposal will create a forum where personal responsibility can be increased, guidelines developed, expectations established and problems worked out.

Hopefully, as the university becomes more involved with promoting fraternities, there will be action toward encouraging creation of a fraternity row closer to or on the campus of ISU, with houses built that are designed to meet the modern needs of a large group of people living together. Such a district would be good for the university, good for the fraternities, and good for the community.

With planning and forethought, Farrington’s Grove could strengthen its identity as an historic neighborhood of restored homes, positioning itself for another century of residential living convenient to downtown and the university.

While not all of the behavior problems in Farrington’s Grove and other neighborhoods can be blamed on fraternities or on college students, this will be a good starting point. In the last century it was called “town and gown.” Now, in an age where students are empowered and ready to sit at the table with administrators, city officials, police and neighborhood representatives, it is called conflict resolution. Or more properly, conflict prevention.

It is the job of a mayor to lead, not to follow. This problem has worsened over the last few years, and it is time to take the proper steps to solve it. The Farrington’s Grove neighborhood deserves this kind of leadership, the schools that add so much intellectual and economic vitality to our community deserve it, and the students who make their home here in Terre Haute deserve it.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Flashpoint
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity