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A festive day in the neighborhood

February 14, 2007

Photo of the SF State mascot with two of the festival attendeesOn Saturday, Feb. 10, SF State's neighbors enjoyed good food and entertainment at a "Love Your Neighborhood Festival." The festival brought together residents of the nearby University Park South and Villas Parkmerced apartments -- students, faculty and staff, as well as those with no formal ties to SF State -- for a day of community-building.

Rain did not put a damper on the festive gathering. About 120 people gathered inside a community room in Parkmerced to hear the M-Line Brass Quintet student ensemble and watch performances by members of the Indian Students Association, the University's Gator and cheerleaders. Representatives from campus organizations were on hand to showcase the resources available for both students and the public at large.

The festival was sponsored by the University's Neighborhood Task force, along with Housing and Residential Services, Villas Parkmerced, Student Affairs, Athletics and the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development.

"The very act of planning the festival was a community-building endeavor in itself," said Jason Porth, associate director of community relations. "Its success was only possible because of the efforts of many people in the Neighborhood Taskforce, including students, faculty, staff and neighbors."

The Neighborhood Task force, a partnership between the administration, faculty, students, staff and nearby residents of the University, government officials and agencies, aims to improve relationships between students and residents. Through these and other outreach initiatives, it also publicizes the many offerings and services that SF State brings to its neighborhood.

One goal of the task force is to educate students who live off campus about their rights and responsibilities as neighbors. The task force works to ensure that student conduct off campus is in compliance with the student code of conduct. It also works to maintain good communication among Villas Parkmerced management, University police and the San Francisco Police Department in dealing with conduct violations.

"Although most of our students are courteous neighbors, there are others who fail to recognize that they are living in a diverse community comprised of residents from a broad spectrum of life stages," Porth said. "There have been reports of student neighbors who have loud, uncontrolled parties that go into the early morning hours, leaving behind lawns littered with bottles. The task force will ensure that students are aware of the serious ramifications of any unlawful or disruptive conduct."

According to Porth, many members of the task force felt that the key to building a strong sense of community in this neighborhood is to create positive environments for neighbors to meet and get to know one another. "This festival is the first of what we hope will be many such events that provide these opportunities," he said.

The task force welcomes new members, including students and other community members. For more information, contact Jason Porth at

-- Adrianne Bee


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Last modified February 13, 2007 by University Communications