Since the Good Neighbor Program began, the Aztec community has changed drastically for the better by focusing on student volunteerism.
In 1990, San Diego State Associated Students created the GNP — a sub-committee under the External Affairs Board that works with community members to eliminate issues presented around the College Area in a civil manner.
The GNP consists of four different subsections comprised of the First Response team, the Canvassing team, the Clean-up team and the Outreach team.
The First Response team responds to calls made by the neighbors to answer questions and listen to concerns. Students respond to these questions or concerns by volunteering to go to the home of the resident and provide information requested.
The Canvassing team reaches out to the neighbors by helping with common courtesy questions they may have along with ideas that can help them live happily in the community.
The Clean-up team participates in biweekly clean-ups in the College Area. This allows students to participate in community service opportunities and meet their neighbors. The Outreach team is designed to inform students on how to be a good neighbor and eliminate unfriendliness in and around the College Area.
Throughout the past couple years though, the program has changed for the better. Krista Parker, former chair for the GNP, started to implement these changes in 2009.
“I was given the opportunity to revamp the program to make it more efficient, appealing to student volunteers, and more productive,” Parker said. “As chair, it was my job to oversee the entirety of the program. I also attended the College Area Community Council meetings once a month, along with the Code Enforcement Nuisance Rental Property subcommittee of the College Area Community Council. When I started as chair, the program consisted of just me. Now there are over 20 members meeting weekly.”
Rachael Bailey, the new chair, was elected last spring by the board. According to Parker, Bailey has continued to improve the program by working with the GNP committee to better the community.
“I believe students are more interested in community service-based projects and are eager to participate, and with more members it is easier to plan events and delegate tasks,” Bailey said.
The GNP wants to make sure every part of the College Area community is aware that they are here to assist with questions or concerns.
“When we have more people involved we can cover more ground and visit more homes, which is why we typically like to involve other students’ organizations and Greek life in our events,” Bailey said.
Last year, the GNP tabled at Explore SDSU. This was a different approach from canvassing around the neighborhoods.
Reaching out to the community is the main reason why the GNP has become so successful throughout the years.
As Bailey puts it, “(The GNP) is a great way to bridge the gap between the community and students and bring together various aspects of the campus.”
For more information, go to as.sdsu.edu/good_neighbor or call the GNP community line at (619) 594-SAFE (7233).