Marcy-Holmes looks to hire liaison

Approximately 7,000 of the neighborhood’s 9,000 residents are students.

Kevin McCahill

University students interested in keeping their neighborhood quiet are being offered a job by the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

Students have the opportunity to become the student liaison to Marcy-Holmes, a position meant to ease the relations between students and other neighborhood residents.

Elissa Cottle, NRP coordinator, said there are roughly 9,000 residents in Marcy-Holmes, 7,000 of whom are students.

Cottle said the liaison position is important in keeping residents and students amicable.

“The neighborhood wants to have good relations with the students who live here and the other residents that live here,” Cottle said. “For many students, this is their first experience outside of living with their family or a dorm.”

She said she wants to help neighbors understand how responsible students can be.

The liaison will be expected to go to the houses where police were called for noise disturbances, she said. The liaison can talk with the residents – most often students – about the impact loud parties and police calls have on their neighbors.

“There are elderly people that live here, parents with children that live here,” Cottle said. “Sometimes it’s hard for students to recognize that.”

The liaison will also be expected to meet with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which convenes the third Tuesday evening of each month at the University Lutheran Church of Hope.

“The liaison doesn’t represent the police,” Cottle said. “They talk in (a) friendly way and say they understand there is a complaint and here’s what you need to do so there isn’t another complaint. It’s not good Ö to have a police record that could have serious consequences.”

Students agreed that a liaison is important.

“We definitely need to be heard,” said political science sophomore Mike Griffin. “We are the community.”

Others, such as economics sophomore Gus Glaisner, said a student liaison would be advantageous for students.

“(A fellow student) would be more understanding,” he said. “If some random official came Ö they wouldn’t respect us.”

Last year was the first year the position existed and was left vacant this May by University student Sara Schwan.

“I really enjoyed my time there,” Schwan said. “I thought it was enjoyable to talk with other people. The people on the board are really nice and allow you to put your input in.”

Schwan said she accomplished a lot.

“It’s effective to talk with students one on one,” she said. “They seemed receptive to what I was saying.”

Rather than confronting students, Schwan said, she let them know she was there to help if they needed resources.

Each week, the Marcy-Holmes NRP receives a list of police calls to the neighborhood, and everything involving loud parties, vandalism or public vulgarity is directed to the liaison to talk with those involved.

But the liaison will have his or her hands full.

During the second week of June, there were 17 calls to the neighborhood for loud parties.

Cottle has received one application thus far, but will accept more.

Students must be at least a junior at the University and available to work 10 hours each week.

Marcy-Holmes runs from 15th Avenue Southeast at the eastern edge to Central Avenue to the west. From north to south, the neighborhood runs from the Mississippi River to the railroad tracks north of Ninth Street.

“It would need to be someone comfortable knocking on doors of people they don’t know and talking to people they don’t know,” she said. “People who like to talk with a variety of people Ö might enjoy it.”

Cottle said she hopes the liaison will help direct students to other activities in the area.

“What the liaison does is talk to students about fun activities in the neighborhood that don’t disturb anyone,” she said. “There are a lot of great restaurant venues and music venues.”

“There are many ways to spend time without bothering anyone; a party in your home isn’t necessarily the best choice.”

Applications for the position can be found on the neighborhood’s Web site at www.marcy-holmes.org, or by e-mail at [email protected]