By Eric Beal, Neighborhood Liaison, Office of External Relations and University Events -
(This is the first in a series of CCC First Person posts from CCC Members)
As the first UMass Amherst Neighborhood Liaison, I’m excited to share some experiences from my first few weeks. I work with UMass students, neighbors, and other University departments, in partnership with town and campus public safety officials and property managers, to improve student and resident relations.
One of the highlights of the past few weeks has been meeting with many campus neighbors at gatherings hosted on campus and in local homes. Last week, I helped organize a clean-up crew of several dozen UMass students to pick up the streets, sidewalks and yards in the area of Fearing Street. Afterwards, I enjoyed sharing great food and conversation at a monthly community potluck brunch – a wonderful tradition that I hope to join again very soon!
Another highlight for me has been working with the Amherst Police and Fire departments. I collaborate extensively with the new Amherst Police Department Community Liaison Officer, Bill Laramee, to proactively educate students and neighbors about rules and expectations in the community. Since September, Bill and I have met with hundreds of off-campus students to introduce our programs, provide tips to safely host a gathering, and to offer our assistance with the students’ relationships with neighbors and the town. Future plans include a possible party registration program and continuing work on community service projects where students and neighbors work together.