The beginning of UNC’s fall semester might still be a month away, but town and University officials are already preparing for students to move back into town.
On Aug. 20, the door-to-door portion of the Good Neighbor Initiative will take off in the Northside, Pine Knolls, Cameron-McCauley and Davie Circle neighborhoods.
The Good Neighbor Initiative is a collaborative effort between University and town officials to help strengthen relationships between town and student residents.
Catherine Lazorko, public information officer for the town, said volunteers will spend the day walking door-to-door to speak with both new and more permanent residents of the neighborhoods.
“It’s just a matter of educating new residents to the area about how to take care of certain things,” Lazorko said.
Aaron Bachenheimer, director of fraternity and sorority life and community involvement at UNC, said he wants to make sure students are aware of certain town ordinances that could be unknowingly violated.
“It’s amazing what we think is common knowledge, is not always common knowledge,” Bachenheimer said.
He said the students he talks to don’t always know when they could be in violation of ordinances.
Bachenheimer said problems that arise typically deal with trash, parking, noise and over-occupancy.
“Noise is probably the issue we hear most about in terms of impacting the quality of life,” he said.
But, Bachenheimer said, trash is a close second. He said many students don’t realize they also need to take their trash bins back from the curb by 7 p.m. the same day their trash is picked up. Otherwise, they are in violation of the trash ordinance.
“It’s not students intentionally trying to be bad neighbors,” Bachenheimer said. “It’s just not always realizing what the expectations are.”
“We want to welcome students to the community,” Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner for the town, said.
Wooley said feedback for the program, now in its ninth year, has been very positive in the past.
“I think the students find the info helpful,” she said.
Though the door-to-door part typically remains the same, Wooley said they still need to talk to returning students each year.
“It’s tricky,” Wooley said. “Because a lot of students who live here one year will be gone the next.”
“It’s just letting new waves of students know about these issues,” she said.
Bachenheimer said they typically have 45 to 60 volunteers for the door-to-door walk — about a third of whom are UNC students.
He said one of the goals of this year’s initiative is to make sure new residents know about Northside and Pine Knolls’ new parking regulations, which will go into effect Sept. 1.
The new parking ordinance limits residents to having only four cars parked on each lot. Residents found in violation of this could be fined $100 per day.
A block party for all the neighborhoods will take place Sept. 13 at the Hargraves Community Center, to encourage students and town residents to get to know each other. Free food will be provided by Buns, McAlister’s Deli and Ben & Jerry’s.
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