01 February 2008

Xavier Students Try to Develop Community Relations

This is a good story from Xavier's student newspaper, The Newswire. The SGA has a new initiative: to develop ties to local businesses and government in Norwood and Evanston. It looks like an uphill battle so far...

This year, SGA’s Community Affairs Committee, led by Sarah Virkler, is attempting, with the help of Pickett Slater Harrington of the Community Building Institute, to build relationships and ties with the communities of Norwood and Evanston.

This year, Virkler has met with the West Norwood Neighborhood Association and has made contact with the Evanston Community Council, although she says that it has been hard to establish a relationship with the Evanston Community Council.

After these relationships are built, then students can work with community members to set goals and projects for the community...

Previously, SGA has focused on projects that help serve the community, especially children...

This year, SGA has tried to begin projects in order to build ties with the community; however, they have faced roadblocks.

SGA wanted to begin a project that helped local restaurants and businesses. The Community Affairs Committee wanted to contact local businesses, including The Speckled Bird Café, where there could be a night or weekend where Xavier students could go to these businesses and receive a discount. The businesses would also benefit because they would attract new customers.

However, since there were previously no ties between these local businesses and SGA, this project has not been fulfilled...

"...When I first entered office a few years ago, the relationship between Xavier and Norwood was acrimonious, but now we have begun to work together to solve problems,” says Moore."

"...relationships between Xavier and the community are “still in the learning process."

Seems like good preparation for the real world. Good luck to them.

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