Last Thursday several city officials met with 20 members of the Student Assembly in the first of what the two parties hope will be a series of meetings on City-College relations. The City-Student leadership reception was organized by Student Assembly President Zach Pilchen ’09 and Sen. Sarah Rojas ’10 to give members of the SA involved in public affairs a chance to talk to city officials about prominent student issues.
p. “We wanted to start the year off well,” Rojas said.
Williamsburg City Mayor Jean Zeidler told those in attendance that she hoped this reception would lead to a year-long dialogue between students and the city.
p. Among issues discussed were student-friendly business, the three-person rule and student voting rights.
p. “[The point] was to just start talking about these issues,” Pilchen said.
p. Pilchen said he felt the officials were responsive to the needs of students and saw the start of an open dialogue.
p. Mayor Zeidler agreed. “Right now we’re just listening to students and trying to build relationships,” she said.
p. She said that there were a number of issues for which she was interested in working with students, including community-oriented retail, the issue of off-campus housing and overall relations between the city and the College.
p. These issues resonated with a majority of the officials in attendance.
p. “We encourage everyone to get to know their neighbors,” Williamsburg Police Chief Mike Yost said.
p. He said that he felt one of the major issues the police department deals with is off-campus parties and stressed to students the importance of good relations with their neighbors in the city.
p. Those involved saw the meeting as an opportunity to begin the dialogue between the College and the city on a positive note.
SA Chief of Staff David Husband ’09 said that he was ready to start working with the city and was looking forward to the year ahead.
p. “[Each side] has the ability to make sure we help the city achieve,” he said. “It’s about an equal partnership. It could be great.”