Neighborhood Relations

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In yesterday’s StarTribune, on the front page of the “twin cities + region” section, there was an article about efforts to ease the strain between college renters and permanent residents, “St. Paul colleges work to keep the peace with their neighbors”.

The people interviewed in the article focused on the need for education, every fall. As the students return, and live off campus, they receive a few simple lessons on co-existing with the non-student populations.

Many of the issues seem to revolve around the different schedules between the two populations, specifically the late night activities of the students and the early-morning rising of the residents. One point brought out in the educational process is that even conversational-level speaking on a front porch after 10 pm can be a problem for a neighbor trying to get a good night’s sleep before work.

Neighborhood block clubs recommend introducing yourself to a house full of renters next door. Bringing over a batch of freshly baked cookies is a popular suggestion. Both sides agree that getting off to a good start helps to avoid testy confrontations later on. Small, but negative, experiences can accumulate and result in situations that no one wants.

The West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee has produced a pamphlet called the “User Guide for Neighborhood Relations“. The goal is to have both the colleges and the communities enjoy sharing their neighborhoods.

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