New hotline, 442-CARE, to help University-area neighbors communicate more easily with SU
New hotline, 442-CARE, to help University-areaneighbors communicate more easily with SUFebruary 14, 2005Laura Madelonelmmadelo@syr.edu
Members of the Syracuse community-specifically, residents of the East neighborhoods adjacent to Syracuse University-now have a dedicated telephone hotline to report non-emergency issues, complaints and concerns, or to ask questions related to off-campus student life. By dialing (315) 442-CARE, (442-2273), callers will reach a voice-mail system that will prompt them to share details and contact information. Staff members from SU’s Office of Government and Community Relations and Office of Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) will monitor the system each weekday and work together on issues of concern.
In most cases, callers should expect a return phone call from SU within two or three working days. The CARE line is not for use in reaching police, fire departments or emergency medical services, and is not intended to replace 911 or other emergency numbers.
“This hotline will allow the OCSS and the Office of Government and Community Relations to more effectively work together to address the concerns of both students and long-term residents of the community,” says Anastasia L. Urtz, dean of students. “In addition to concerns and issues that residents and students raise, we are also interested in hearing suggestions about ways to improve the quality of life in these areas.”
This hotline is one response to concerns raised by residents in the East neighborhood regarding off-campus student behavior. Its creation is an outcome of the work done by the East Neighborhood Task Force, which was convened in 2004 at the request of Chancellor Nancy Cantor to take a fresh look at ways in which the University interacts with neighborhood associations, city administrators, students and rental-property owners, with a focus on addressing quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood.
The task force was divided into five working groups: Collection of Off-Campus Student Addresses; Revitalization of the University-Community Partnership; Neighborhood Safety Patrol Improvements; Education/Communication Efforts; and Quality of Life/Code Enforcement. In December 2004, Cantor announced the recommendations of the task force to members of the University-Community Partnership; the task force’s report is available at http://govt-comm.syr.edu/.
The hotline idea stemmed from the work of the Education/Communication working group, which found that it has been difficult for neighbors and students to determine who to call and when to call if a concern arises. The committee researched other institutions’ responses to this problem, then suggested that OCSS work with the Office of Government and Community Relations to streamline the communication process, making it easier for SU’s neighbors to contact SU, as well as ensuring a more efficient SU response.
The hotline will be assessed quarterly to understand concerns, trends and response times, and appropriate adjustments will be made as necessary to better serve users.