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ECU, city officials greet students

By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Moving into an apartment or house is the first major step toward independence for many college students.

However, the experience can be marred when a police officer knocks on your door to say a neighbor is complaining about the noise, or a city inspector drops off a citation because trash bags are piling up at your front door.

That's why East Carolina University's Office of Off-Campus Student Services organized volunteers Wednesday afternoon to go around neighborhoods immediately surrounding campus to welcome students back through an event called "Take Heed: Welcome to the Neighborhood."

More than 20 ECU officials, Greenville and ECU police officers and Greenville code enforcement officers distributed about 1,500 bags of brochures and promotional items. The brochures explained services students can obtain on campus and off, along with information about Greenville recycling schedules, emergency information, bylaws and other residential living tips.

"The majority of students, I believe, are very good and very respectful," said Lynn Roeder, associate vice chancellor of student affairs and dean of students. However, young adults living on their own for the first time and in a new community often don't know what rules to follow.

More than 80 percent of ECU students live off-campus, said Lucia F. Brannon, interim coordinator of Off-Campus Student Services.

"We want to make sure the students who live off campus don't feel disconnected," she said.

Eric Stokely, a senior from Hertford, has lived off campus for three years. This summer he and roommate moved into a two-story house along Warren Street in the Tar River-University Neighborhood area.

"I feel like everybody's great," Stokely said. His neighborhood, a mix of student tenants, long-time homeowners and retirees, is quiet. "They know it's a college town and know we are here. Everyone's been OK."

Stokely previously lived along the southern end of Elm Street and never received one of the information kits.

"It's a good idea, because it lets people know what's going on, especially those that live off-campus," he said.


Ginger Livingston can be contacted at 329-9572 and