As a college, it is sometimes expected that Eastern will disrupt its neighbors. After all, the college student stereotype has us pegged as messy, noisy and prone to butting in where we are not welcome. That is not the case for Eastern students.
“Any college or university has what’s called ‘town-gown challenges,'” explains Bettie Ann Brigham, Vice President of Student Development. “Eastern has very few classic town-gown problems.”
Brigham credits this to the types of students that attend the University. “The Eastern student community is unique,” she says.
Eastern students care not only about the school, but also about their neighbors. Bringham notes that students are respectful of the community, its members and their sensibilities.
While there is little tension between Eastern and Radnor, there have been worries within the community that Eastern has been growing too fast and that this progress may impede upon the comfort of those living in the surrounding area. Eastern’s position is that there is no need for concern, since any expansion will be happening gradually.
To maintain a good relationship with its neighbors, Eastern students are encouraged to make connections with people and get jobs in the area.
“Our students really are incredible. Our students care about people and it’s just a pretty neat thing,” Brigham said.
Though the relationship between Eastern and Radnor is generally peaceful, there are nevertheless a few neighbors who would like to paint Eastern in a more negative light, as uncaring and irresponsible. To combat this stigma, Eastern takes the times to listen, to understand the problems that its neighbors may be facing and come up with solutions that will work for both the township and the university.
By way of words to live by, Brigham encourages students to be mindful of their interactions with the township: “Be conscious that every action you have with a neighbor can enhance or hinder Eastern’s mission.”