We Support Our Neighbors!
We recognize living alongside students presents unique challenges and opportunities for permanent residents. Neighborhood livability is important to the University of South Carolina, and we hope you find this information valuable.
Tips to meet & share community expectations with new neighbors:
- Introduce yourself. Welcome new student neighbors in person or with a note as soon as possible. Invite new neighbors to a neighborhood gathering or exchange phone numbers. Letting students know you care and are aware, personalizes their role in it (see suggested script below).
- Share your contact information and ask for theirs in case you need to communicate with one another to solve problems or express concerns before depending on outside intervention (i.e. police).
- Share your expectations and experiences by letting student neighbors know when you need sleep or quiet, and let them know what type of activity or noise could trigger a call from you to the police.
- Show what it means to be neighborly, and they will be more likely to return the goodwill. Let students know that you are willing to share resources and provide support, whether it’s a hammer, a cup of sugar or advice.
Suggested script for greeting new neighbors:
“Hi, welcome to _____________. I wanted to stop by and introduce myself; my name is ____________. We take pride in our neighborhood and are glad to have you. Here is some important information such as trash collection days, noise and parking expectations for our community. Please review it and share it with your roommates so everyone is aware of expectations. Would you be comfortable exchanging contact information in case we need to reach one another? It was nice meeting you!”
How to report problems:
- If at all possible, first discuss your concerns and expectations with your student neighbors.
- If illegal activity is occurring, call the Columbia Police Dept. at 803-252-2911 in the city or the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. at 803-576-3000 in the county. If it is an emergency, call 911.
- If a code or ordinance is being violated, report it to the City of Columbia Code Enforcement at 803-545-3430 and report county violations to the Richland County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000. The city and county require proper maintenance of all residential buildings. Enforcement includes, but is not limited to, overgrown yards, abandoned vehicles, illegal dumping, roll carts, and structures in need of repair.
- Report the incident to the University of South Carolina by submitting a Neighborhood Incident Report. A University of South Carolina staff member will follow up with you about the incident within seven business days.
Request USC volunteers to help with a neighborhood project:
Contact Lacie Rhoden, in the Leadership and Service Center to discuss the idea and find the best avenue to help meet that need. Volunteer service site requirements:
· At the beginning of the project, sites are responsible for explaining a quick history of the neighborhood, purpose of the project and why the project matters.
· Service typically takes place on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
· Sites are expected to have enough work for 3 hours.
· Each group will have at least one student serving as a Site Leader, so that is the main point of contact between the site and the students doing service.
· Sites are responsible for providing the materials needed to accomplish the project.
Nominate an Exceptional Student Neighbor:
Recognize an off-campus student that is positively contributing to the community by submitting an Exceptional Student Neighbor Nomination. The Off-Campus Student Services Office will review the form and will reach out to recognize the particular student(s) you nominate.
University Point of Contact:
Please contact Janie Kerzan, Off-Campus Student Services Community Outreach Director with questions, concerns and to discuss ways we can partner to improve neighborhood livability.