Each fall, HWS staff and officers from the Geneva Police Department visit students and local citizens at home to establish a neighborly relationship in the community. This year, members of the city’s College Area Livability Task Force joined the delegation from the Colleges and the GPD, making the rounds throughout the Founder’s Square area of Geneva, talking with many students and local residents.
“This walk provides an opportunity for the Colleges and the surrounding community to understand one another,” says Jenna Konyak, associate director of housing at the Colleges’ Office of Residential Education.
They offer the chance to engage with students “about respect and safety in their neighborhoods” and a chance for local residents “to better understand the students residing near them and to voice any thoughts or concerns,” Konyak says. “This walk is important, in that it promotes a sense of camaraderie between the two parties, starting everyone off on the right foot before the academic year even starts.”
Along with Konyak and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers, the group included HWS campus safety staff, city councilors, local residents, a local landlord and Geneva City Manager Sage Gerling.
“These visits are an example of the on-going working relationship between the Colleges and the City of Geneva as we strive to make the neighborhood a safe and enjoyable area for our students and for the permanent residents of Geneva,” says Flowers, who notes that the visits are designed to encourage positive and effective communication among students, neighbors, GPD and the Colleges’ staff and administration.