April 24, 2003

IFC Pledges to Improve City Relations

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Last night, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) passed a resolution to improve communication between fraternities and Ithaca, and also pledged to increase philanthropic efforts.

The resolution had been in discussion since the 1990’s but was not made official until last night.

“The reason why we’re passing it this semester is we’re doing a lot . . . [including] developing ties with the community,” said Michael Taylor ’05, vice president of University and community relations. IFC efforts include increased interaction with the police and new programs such as Adopt-A-Block. Adopt-A-Block, which is based on the Adopt-A-Highway program, will give fraternities a block in the Collegetown area to maintain. The resolution will “stimulate and encourage this kind of activity [and] set goals,” Taylor said.

Adopt-A-Block’s kick-off event will be held this Sunday with one third of the fraternities ready to participate. “Through Adopt-A-Block and this resolution, we’ll create further interest in philanthropy,” said Rudi Lewis ’04, president of Psi Upsilon.

The resolution is directed at all of Ithaca, but particularly areas adjacent to fraternities.

“It’s for everyone, but specifically aimed at permanent Ithaca residents, including Cornell professors,” Taylor said. “Since much of the clean up efforts are targeted at Collegetown, students in the area will also benefit.”

The goal of the resolution will be “to do a visible service to the community . . . to keep an area that students often abuse clean,” Taylor said.

“I think the resolution is a great idea. It brings to the awareness to the Greek presidents the importance of community relations,” Lewis said.

Taylor attended several meetings of the Collegetown Neighborhood Council, a group of elected representatives, business owners, Cornell administration and permanent residents of the Collegetown area. The council meeting discussed concerns of the community, including parking, house parties and business development.

“We’re extremely happy to have [Taylor] there and have that connection with the IFC,” said Common Council representative Carolyn Peterson (D-4th). The council has been looking for student leadership to help build interactions with the community.

The resolution also aims to provide long-term benefits as well. “I think that in the long run, if [IFC] establishes a regular relationship with us, it’ll help us with the more difficult periods during the year,” Peterson said. She noted that the times of highest tension between the students and the community fall at the beginning of the school year, as well as during senior week. She cited loud partying and disrespect of property as the main causes for concern among community members.

Archived article by Diana Lo