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University Communities Caucus confronts town/gown issues in variety of formats at conference.

The University Communities Caucus (UCC) held its Board of Directors' meeting and business meeting during Congress of Cities in New Orleans.

Former UCC Chair, Mary Anne McCollum, Mayor of Columbia, Mo. conducted both meetings. New UCC Officers were elected during the business meeting. The newly-elected officers are: UCC Chair, Mayor Ronald L. Gardner, of Newark, Del.; First Vice Chair, Betty Jane Kissler, Councilmember from San Marcos, Tex.; Second Vice Chair, Michael Schor, deputy mayor, Mansfield, Conn.; and Secretary/treasurer, Mayor Anna L. Owens of College Park, Md.

Topics covered during the UCC business meeting were the development of ideas about policy regarding higher education and lifelong learning and aid for non-traditional students for consideration by NLC's policy process.

University student populations have become significantly more diverse. In addition to traditional university populations, campuses are seeing the return of individuals who either must be re-trained in their present area of employment or seek education and training in completely new and different fields. Also, single-parent students and older students with families are returning to the college campus. Therefore, child care facilities have become a matter of concern for universities.

Mayor McCollum led the group in discussions around mechanisms for gathering information and examples of problem-solving on issues such as noise ordinances, housing, policing, sanitation, adequate research funding, and many other issues that are being brought to the table for discussion by both university leadership and local municipal officials.

Prior to the UCC business meeting, a special workshop on Town/Gown Committees was conducted.

Often, in university communities, disagreements and tensions can arise over issues ranging from student housing and parking, to student behavior and lifestyle differences, to zoning and finances. An effective way for local governments and educational institutions to deal with these issues and establish a mutually beneficial working relations is through continuing, structured committees.
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Author:Cheek, Dorothy
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Dec 14, 1992
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