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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

College community courtesy

People who live in college towns like Brockport are caught between two worlds. The excitement and energy of new ideas and new people infuse the community with vibrancy.  But living around students can sometimes cause a love-hate relationship residing in the area.

Students have a newfound sense of freedom living off campus and are excited to see who their new neighbors are. Residents on the other hand have concerns about their new neighbors for the upcoming school year every August.

College houses lining Holley St. all the way to campus.
Photo Credit: Liv Metz

Kathleen Raskin has lived in Brockport for more than four decades and in the same house on Holley Street for more than two decades. Raskin has had her fair share of experiences living directly next to a college house and on a frequent bar route.

“There are aspects that I love. There are people that are interesting and talented that live here. A part of my disappointment in it is that some people are not respectful of other people’s property and enjoyment of it,” said Raskin.

Living so close to campus, Raskin has had many items stolen from her porch and her property has not been respected in the past. Despite this Raskin sees the community of Brockport to be lovely and doesn’t let these occurrences change her mind of living there.

Residents like Raskin aren’t the only ones with the love-hate relationship of living in such close borders with students. Senior Mia Vizcaino has been living off campus for two years and has not only had the pleasure of being neighbors with students, but residents too.

“Being neighbors with residents instead of students is definitely a big difference, a noticeable difference. Our neighbor who is a resident is super sweet. She’s a mom and she always goes out of her way to make sure my roommates and I know she’s around if we need anything,” said Vizcaino. “I guess townies have more of a courtesy to make us feel at home more than students do.”

Vizcaino at her college house with another student house in the background.
Photo Credit: Liv Metz

When people think of college houses, most of the time they correlate them with parties but there are plenty of quiet houses around town in courtesy of those who call Brockport their home. Vizcaino’s house is one of those.

“Sometimes I don’t think we, as college students, even think that far to make friends and be aware of the people around us. Sometimes we are in our own little bubble and don’t realize our presence may be disrupting the people around us. That’s why I always make sure to be polite to the people I’m next to,” said Vizcaino.

Over the years, SUNY Brockport has been taking steps to become a better community partner not only for the residents but students as well.

Brockport’s Town Gown Committee has grown to over 45 members since Heidi Macpherson became president in 2015. The committee has addressed issues of concern with one being how to educate new groups of students to become good neighbors.

Brockport’s Town Gown Committee after a meeting February 21, 2019. Photo Credit: Dianne Hickerson

President Macpherson has set up discussions in residence hall programs where students are required to live their first two years. There are also summer weekend orientation programs for incoming freshman to learn how to be a college student where they are required to do about four hours of volunteer work in the village.

Programs like these help underclassmen to connect with residents in the Brockport community to help them learn what it’s like to be a good neighbor and citizen in a college town. These connections then help to really show the vibrancy that Brockport has to offer.

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