Without a significant amount of ties to the area, student residents in the Belvedere neighborhood – CCSU’s neighbors to the immediate west – may not have much motivation to forge friendly relationships with their neighbors and take care of the area. Most students will see their living situation with a handful of roommates in a house on Stratford Street, for example, as temporary and only that.
While this is true, students should take a good look at their one- or two-year leases in this residential neighborhood and see it for the stepping stone it should be. For many, it is the first time they have lived away from home, or away from the dorms, and have to interact with neighbors who have their own leaves to rake and lawns to keep tidy. Their neighbors may have small children who need extra care and a safe place to play. Students must use the chance to shape themselves into the neighbors they’d like to be when they become homeowners themselves.
Likewise, the New Britain residents who have chosen the Belvedere neighborhood as their permanent address should not overlook the most important fact about their area: that it is located next to a university. CCSU will undoubtedly remain a suitcase school, therefore Thursday will remain thirsty. While permanent residents will always see this as an inconvenience, it is an inconvenience that has been apart of college life at CCSU became a dry campus a few decades ago. This same issue plauges every college campus that isn’t self-inclosed into its own community. Even a school like the University of Connecticut that maintains a higher on-campus to off-campus student ratio, faces similar issues with off-campus students who live as far as 20 minutes away from Storrs. As much as the residents of the Belevedere neighborhood have the right to expect an orderly and upstanding place to call home, they should be expectant of noise and disturbance issues when purchasing a home in such small proximity to a public university.
Many residents of Belevedere seem to have a very negative outlook on the semi-permanent neighbors, quickly dismissing college students as loud, beer-swilling, drug addicted teens with no sense of responsibility. While this outlook might fit a few, it doesn’t speak for the majority of CCSU students who managae to work near-full time to afford to pay their own way through a degree. These hard-working student-professionals are being given little to no chance to show why type of person they really are before being silently judge by their older counterparts across the street.
Belevedere residents should use this indifference as a way to strengthen their neighborly relationships, rather than peering through the curtains anticipating something bad to happen. Reach out to your neighbor and voice any concerns you might have, this might lead to the neighborhood experience many are looking for without alienating these two drastically different groups.