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UMW students reach out to neighbors

CLEANING UP NEIGHBORHOOD AROUND SCHOOL IS FIRST STEP IN IMPROVING STRAINED RELATIONS

BY LINDLEY ESTES

Some students at the University of Mary Washington will be clad in pink, not the school’s colors of gray and blue, this homecoming weekend.

Initiated by UMW’s Student Government Association, student volunteers will go into the College Heights neighborhood on Sunday to pick up trash and clean the streets.

You will be able to spot student volunteers by their hot-pink T–shirts, which read “UMW Homecoming 2012 Neighborhood Clean Up” on the front and “UMW Students Make Good Neighbors” on the back.

“The SGA is aware that College Heights and the surrounding areas are on high alert for noise and parties, and are [is] committed to pushing forward doing the good deeds we already do,” said SGA President Jeremy Thompson.

Thompson said student groups have made an effort this semester to reach out to the larger Fredericksburg community. The SGA met with Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw earlier this year to talk about relations between the university and the community.

Meredith Beckett, president of the College Heights Civic Association, said the project is “a step in the right direction.”

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” she said. “I am thrilled that they are taking the initiative.”

Beckett said her board has worked closely with UMW recently, and the first collaborative newsletter from the two groups will go out next week.

Senior Kagan McSpadden, director of community outreach for the SGA, helped organize the event and said it plans to hold another cleanup in the spring, and hopes to make it a homecoming tradition.

Another organizer of the cleanup, Commuter Student Association President Ally Blanck, said the event is a way for students and their neighbors in College Heights to feel comfortable interacting.

“We hope it helps the community see that students want to give back and are interested in being a part of the Fredericksburg community,” Blanck said.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976

lestes@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/10/19/umw-students-reach-out-to-neighbors/