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My article about how Tigerfest impacted the community over the weekend will be in Thursday’s issue of The Towerlight, so check that out when it hits the site and stands in the next 24 hours. In the mean time, I’ll give you a sneak peak about something concerning that I heard this afternoon. There are two distinctly different perceptions of how Tigerfest went this year. Marina Cooper from the University President’s office was the point person for all complaints coming from the communities. She didn’t get any. Not a single one, she said. No calls. No voicemails. No e-mails. Nothing. Then I talked to Matt Parlakian, a Towson Citizens on Patrol organizer and Burkleigh Square homeowner. He said there were parties all along the York Road corridor, and while the police were quicker than in years passed in responding, the disturbances did persist. I told him that Marina said she hadn’t heard anything from any neighbors about problems. Matt said that most of the community may just be tired of their complaints not being heard by the University. This is a problem. There have been so many major strides made in the last academic year. The University has repeatedly met with community reps. VP for student affairs Deb Moriarty told me Monday that she feels that her job has shifted more from on-campus student concerns to off-campus in the last few years. Marina Cooper’s predecessors were mostly PR reps, writing press releases, taking calls from media, etc. Marina, though, has been put at the center of trying to solve some of the major issues taking place between the two sides. If neighbors are asking for the University to be responsive, and Marina’s number and e-mail is circulated throughout the communities in order to have that direct contact instead of a flawed Student Life Line, then they need to call her. If the perception is that the calling the University is a waste of time, then nothing will ever be solved. The last year has been based on trying to fix communication. Communication goes both ways. If Marina & Co. is expected to notify the community of major changes across campus, then they must make their concerns be heard in places other than town hall meetings. Muttering under your about all of those awful Towson students won’t solve anything.


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