Marcy-Holmes party attracts residents

The “block event” was held Aug. 4 because of a rainout.

Jared Roddy

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association student liaison Sara Schwan took baby steps toward neighborhood solidarity Aug. 4.

“This isn’t just a block party, it’s a block event,” journalism junior Adam Fetcher said.

The “block event,” which was held on the corner of 12th Avenue and Fourth Street, attracted several student-residents of Marcy-Holmes and offered Schwan a chance to explain her new responsibilities.

“We set this up to show people some of the differences of off-campus living,” Schwan said. “We’re telling people what to do with complaints, how you can resolve issues before calling the police and we’re taking down suggestions and names for block leaders too.”

Schwan, a political science senior, was hired by the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association to inform students of the responsibilities of living off-campus.

The event was scheduled for Aug. 3, but rain forced a change to the following day, which Schwan said could have accounted for low attendance.

Schwan supplied hot dogs, brats and hamburgers along with many sweet delicacies to anyone who stopped by, and yelled for passers-by to join the party.

One of the issues Schwan said she hoped to address was a lack of solidarity between University students and Marcy-Holmes residents.

Mike Kisch, a first-year architecture graduate student living on 12th Avenue said he wanted to see if there would be any difference in relations following Schwan’s actions.

“It’s going to be interesting to see if the historical sense of community can transfer to this more transient part of the neighborhood,” Kisch said.

Despite neighborhood literature expounding the virtues of being a “good neighbor,” some students still seemed confused as to Schwan’s role in the neighborhood.

“I think it’s good to have a liaison between police and residents,” Fetcher said. “I always prefer not dealing with cops if possible.”

Schwan’s job is not necessarily to act as an intermediary between cops and residents, though she said one of her goals is to keep people from having to call the police at all.

City literature notwithstanding, the motivating factor of the party was to meet the neighbors, and the gathered few complimented the effort.

“I’d be happy if there was more stuff like this,” chemistry junior Dan Chilgren said. “There’s no really good way for people to meet each other out here.”

History senior Jennifer Shofner didn’t even know she lived in Marcy-Holmes. She said she thought it was great that students would have someone to go to if they had issues with the neighborhood.

The party was small, and Schwan’s door-to-door invitation process involved a small portion of her block. Inna Shub, a graphic design junior living directly behind the party’s location said she heard nothing about the event.

“No one knocked on our door,” Shub said. “But I don’t think a lot of people would go. Most people probably don’t care about relations between homeowners and students.”

Despite its small scale, Schwan called the event a success and said some new friendships might have been forged.

One of Schwan’s duties includes hiring an assistant to help with the more hands-on aspects of her job. Jackie Wentworth, a junior in biology and a member of Delta Gamma Sorority, will start knocking on doors with Schwan when the school year starts.