U seeks to smooth resident relations in Marcy-Holmes neighborhood

A June 25 meeting let University students and residents voice their concerns.

Jared Roddy

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association and students in the neighborhood might finally be finding some common ground.

The two sides met June 25 to vent their frustrations. Participants said they were happy with how the meeting went and are planning another sit-down next week.

“We’re not looking for 100 percent resolution here,” Interfraternity Council President and Marcy-Holmes resident Paul Horner said. “The best we can hope for is to be honest and civil.”

Students maintain that they are being excluded from the neighborhood, and are unrepresented in the association. The association says students are not interested in building the community.

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association President Brian Beale said students should be more involved in the Marcy-Holmes community. Student participation at the meetings is low; less than 20 percent of attendees are younger than 25 years old, he said.

“College-age people live in a variety of neighborhoods,” Beale said. “They’re looking for the best deal, not a good neighborhood.”

But Horner, a computer science and math senior, said students are active in the Marcy-Holmes community despite low attendance at meetings.

“They wanted us to participate in the management of the neighborhood, and our definition of being involved was just being included in some of their projects.”

Earlier this year, students and residents attempted to collaborate on new neighborhood association bylaws that would be more representative of the entire community. But in June, all 16 bylaw amendments were voted down as a slate.

Despite that setback, the sides have recently taken steps to improve their relationship, as several Greek community members worked with the neighborhood association to build their Fourth of July float.

Horner said he hopes relations between the groups improve as they continue to work together on community-improvement projects.

“I don’t know what’s going to fix it per se,” Horner said. “But as we get to know each other, I think we’ll be able to resolve our differences better in the future.”