Dear Editor,

As the residents of Narragansett “try to get their town back,” they should keep in mind that it is a team effort.  As Brianna Montecalvo, the Student Senate External Affairs chair said in the article, “Student/resident relations evolve ‘down the line’,” students and residents need to work on cohesiveness.  Not just students, but residents as well.  

I asked numerous students about their experiences with the neighbors thus far.  

Like the Student Senate suggests, my friend attempted to establish a good relationship with his neighbor.  However, instead of reacting with the same intentions, the neighbors threatened him that if they saw him or any of his roommates driving over the speed limit down their road then they would call the cops on them.  

I have also experienced a lack of respect from my neighbors.  On numerous occasions my neighbor’s dog has run into our yard and started barking and growling at my roommates and me.  Every time this happens our neighbor is simply standing in his yard watching and not making any actions to stop his animal although we are clearly uncomfortable.  This same dog has even kept one of my roommates from leaving the house.

Neighbors have even gone out of their way to give some students a hard time.  Liza Wauters, a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, said that when she forgot to bring in her recycle bins, her neighbors took pictures of her front lawn and sent  them to the town resulting in her house receiving a violation.  Having recycle bins out poses no threat or inconvenience to the neighbors.

However, not all neighbors have responded negatively.  Senior Emily Nugent has a great relationship with her neighbors.  On move-in day, Nugent and her four roommates went to both of the neighbors’ houses.  They introduced themselves and gave out their phone numbers.  Both neighbors have been friendly ever since.

Annie Clarkin, a junior at URI, also has a great relationship with her neighbors.  One neighbor in particular was extremely welcoming.  She baked them cookies and left a note for them.

As you can see, the best relationships I found were the ones where both parties worked cohesively to ensure peace in their neighborhoods.  Students as well as residents should follow some tips that the Student Senate suggests which include introducing themselves, which aims to establish good relationships.  If all residents responded in the same way as Nugent and Clarkin’s neighbors, there would be a greater sense of peace between residents and students.  

 

Sincerely,

Maria Theiler

Student at The University of Rhode Island