SJU Students and Area Residents Meet to Strengthen Community Ties

Monday, October 1, 2007

Two years ago, Stanley Isenberg, who lives in the neighboring Latches Lane Condominiums, contacted Saint Joseph's Office of Government and Community Relations with a proposal. His idea: get the students living in houses along Lapsley Lane to meet with some neighbors of the condominium association to build better relationships. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts prohibited the meeting, and the idea was put on hold.

Fast forward to last Tuesday. Picture a warm September evening. Plenty of burgers and hot dogs cooking on the grill. Students and neighbors coming together to share food, laughter and fellowship. The combined efforts of the Offices of Government and Community Relations and Residence Life brought Isenberg's idea to reality.

Invitations were sent to the people who live closest to the University, inviting them to a Fall Social and Meet and Greet Dinner. Two early evening receptions were held simultaneously to accommodate neighbors on both sides of campus – Lower Merion and Philadelphia. Students living in Borgia and Rashford Halls joined residents of Church Road, 52nd Street and Rexford Road in the parking lot directly behind Borgia Hall, while students living in Sullivan, Jordan and Hogan Halls met with the Latches Lane Condominium community on the lawn of Sullivan Hall. The dinner was a tremendous success.

Chris Heasley, assistant director of residence life, was excited about the outcome of the event. "This was a great opportunity for us to meet the Latches Lane residents and we look forward to building strong relationships with them in the future," he said.

Gail Kramer, Latches Lane Condominium president, commented, "Many of our residents look at these students as their grandchildren. We had noise and trespassing issues in the past, but having a good relationship with Saint Joseph's goes a long way, and this social was a good start. Our residents are anxious to do something with the students again soon."

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