Hand-delivering information booklets right to your doorstep, the Beyond the Diag campaign will again personally welcome students living in off-campus neighborhoods.
Beyond the Diag — a program operating within the University's Office of Student Affairs — was launched in 2012 to establish community networks within off-campus neighborhoods inhabited by students. Out of the 12 University-designated neighborhoods, Beyond the Diag student ambassadors currently reside in nine.
Strategically timed to coincide with when the majority of students move into off-campus locations, Beyond the Diag staff members and volunteers spent Thursday afternoon distributing information booklets to students living in the Tappan and Elbel neighborhoods.
A cohort of University and city administrators accompanied Beyond the Diag ambassadors on the canvassing trip — including E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life; Laura Blake-Jones, dean of students; Councilmember Sabra Briere (D-Ward 1), Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto, and Eddie Washinton, the newly-appointed executive director of the University's Division of Public Safety and Security.
In light of the upcoming night game against Notre Dame, Harper said the Beyond the Diag initiative was especially important in making off-campus student more aware of their options for safety.
“The whole intent is to make our community safe and have conversation with students that are not living on campus but our a part of our campus,” Harper said.
Briere, who was the only city councilmember to respond to the event invitation, said she felt the event was important because her constituents include students.
Briere said the concerns that residents have had with University students included traffic violations, jaywalking and littering of red Solo cups. When approaching student houses, Briere advised students to be more careful and aware of the implications of their actions on the neighborhood.
“(Students) want to know how it is going to affect you when you behave rowdily,” she said. “You don’t always have an opportunity to see how others perceive your actions until you’re growing-up.”
Over the following week, Beyond the Diag will continue their efforts to better integrate off-campus communities by canvassing in more surrounding neighborhoods. Benjamin Rosebreck, program manager for Beyond the Diag, said ambassadors would aim reach out to and welcome students from close to eight total neighborhoods.
On Sept. 16, the group will introduce a new online platform to make housing and roommate searches more accessible to all University affiliates. Currently, landlord services are being coordinated to compile this information.