Town and gown relations may not be at the forefront of thought for every college student in America, but it is an area in which they should become well versed and involved in. Rowan University and the Borough of Glassboro have partnered up to create an initiative, “Good Neighbor Meetings,” which aim to connect the students and the Glassboro community. These meetings offer an opportunity for neighbors and students to come together and build a better community while also addressing some common issues found in a small college town. Yet, from my experiences, these meetings are really only feature the residents. This past meeting, I was the only student.
I understand that students have a lot on their plates: meetings, courses, work commitments, studying and extracurricular activities. In order to create a better community for all, students must also stay involved in the borough that we live in. Students live in Glassboro, navigate the community, shop at small shops, spend their free time in the area, find internships and jobs, and eat at local restaurants. Student involvement with the Glassboro community is a part of everyday life, and students must get involved. For the betterment of the entirety of the Glassboro community, including Rowan University, students must become engaged citizens.
These “Good Neighbor Meetings” offer an opportunity for Rowan students to connect with citizens and residents of the Borough of Glassboro. This is an opportunity for us to get to know the shop owners, workers and neighbors that we interact with on a daily basis. We can use this forum created to establish new partnerships and relationships with those that have been rooted in Glassboro for years. This is a route towards a better community and a better way of living. As Rowan University continues to expand and become more a part of the Glassboro community, we must remember that the Borough of Glassboro is important to give back to.
I would love to see more of my fellow Profs at the next “Good Neighbor Meeting,” and Borough Council Meetings (held every other Tuesday at 8:00 pm). It would also be a great idea to download the Glassboro app or visit the Glassboro website to stay up to date with events, news and meetings. Let us get involved and give back to the community that has welcomed us into their home. Let us learn how to work with our neighbors and create ways of living that are beneficial and respectful to everyone. Finally, let us learn more about the community, and the people, that we spend so much time with. We are not just here at Rowan. We are also here in the beautiful Borough of Glassboro.
Donn Matthew Garby