Student-neighbor party canceled due to weather

Live acoustic music, local artists and free food were planned for the event.

Caitlin Cornelius

A rainstorm Thursday evening managed to put plans to further relations between students and neighborhood residents on hold.

The second-annual “U Rock Block Party” would have attempted to bring Prospect Park students and permanent neighborhood residents together.

The event was co-sponsored by the University’s Student & Community Relations office and the major apartment complexes in the Prospect Park neighborhood.

“It’s a great coming-together of a variety of partners,” Kendre Turonie, coordinator for student and community relations, said. “It’s unfortunate that it got canceled.”

Live acoustic music, local artists and free food were planned.

Turonie said it would be too expensive to reschedule the event this year.

With the contrasting lifestyles of the student population and the surrounding community, past efforts to get the two groups to blend have been difficult, Turonie said.

Joe Ring, Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association board chairman, said the influx of students in recent years has forced residents to try to adjust to living among the college set.

“The problem isn’t the students; the problem is that they’re not following city ordinances,” Ring said. “Students feel that since they’re young, and because they’re students, that they should somehow be exempt from common law.”

To address residents’ concerns about neighborhood crime, police would have been on hand to educate the community and answer questions.

Turonie said police are an excellent resource to educate students, who often find themselves vulnerable to crime.

Last year’s block party was a step in the right direction, said Michael Wilde, director of student services and marketing for Melrose Student Suites.

Due to date changes and other problems with the event, Wilde said he believes it affected community relations “only slightly,” and that it will take more work to reach ideal student-resident relations.

However, he said the two groups will make progress.

“(Student renters) have come a long way,” Wilde said. “We’ve moved in the direction of figuring out where we fit in a community of residents.”

Thursday’s event would have been open to all Prospect Park residents, student renters and resident hall students. Local businesses were also invited to make acquaintance with their clientele.

Biology sophomore and Melrose resident Sarah Endres said she was looking forward to having free food and meeting other residents.

“We haven’t done anything with the other complexes yet,” she said.