History of Community Building Team
The La Salle University Community Building Team (which is a coalition of university faculty, staff, students and administrators along with community residents and business representatives and representatives from local non-profit programs) was established in 2006 with the purpose of addressing common concerns and enhancing relationships between members of the La Salle community with its nearby neighbors. The team adopted the following Mission Statement.
Our Community Building Team explores, develops, recommends, and, through the appropriate combinations of direct action and stimulating the actions of others in the division and the University, implements means by which the neighbors of our adjoining community and the University can create an ever better environment in which to live, work, and study. Membership includes Division of Student Affairs staff, particularly but not solely from Community Development and University Ministry and Service; faculty, particularly but not solely from Leadership and Global Understanding; students, particularly but not solely from UMAS’s Neighbor to Neighbor group; neighbors; and other concerned parties.
The Community Building Team (CBT) is chaired by the Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Communities and has met bi-weekly since its inception. CBT considers itself an outcome based entity with a wide range of activities that can trace their beginnings to discussions that occurred within CBT meetings. Faculty from the Leadership and Global Understanding Program, Social Work and Communication Departments have all offered courses that engage students in problem solving initiatives to address community concerns. UMAS service groups specifically Neighbor-to-Neighbor have committed hundreds of hours of work at schools, community centers and for individuals in need in the nearby community.
During the 2010-2011 academic year, funds from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board provided an opportunity to host two Community Input Forums to bring students (both those living in the off-campus community and those who socialize there) and neighbors together to discuss common concerns and brainstorm possible solutions. The grant also provided funds for the creation of videos, newsletters and a brochure that provided information to students and neighbors about resources available for a wide-array of issues.
Potential projects that were identified through the Community Input Forums and which have since been implemented and institutionalized are:
Annual Safety Excursions to Off-Campus Houses distributing safety information and the Off-Campus Brochure
Community Newsletters distributed three times a year to students and neighbors with updated information about programs and resources
Four trash bashes a year coinciding with holidays/celebrations when there has been an increase of student generated trash in the community
Community Health Fair
Easter Fresh Produce Food Drive
Martin Luther King Interfaith Service