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Off-campus safety discussed by CCAC

Megan Hemler | Thursday, October 29, 2009

Off-campus safety, traffic problems in South Bend neighborhoods and issues regarding zoning were among the concerns discussed by the Community/Campus Advisory Coalition (CCAC) Wednesday afternoon at the Downtown Office of the University of Notre Dame.
The group is made up of representatives from Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s College as well as representatives from South Bend city offices and agencies.

The Coalition discussed a number of proposals for increasing safety in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding campus, including instituting a neighborhood watch program, increased police presence and a new Transpo shuttle that will operate during the weekend late night hours.

“The shuttle will run from approximately 9 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and anyone can ride it, but it is free for Notre Dame students,” student body president Grant Schmidt said.

There will also be additional officers in the Northeast neighborhoods and Eddy Street Commons, on foot and by patrol car, Schmidt said.

Schmidt also spoke on the creation of the Off-Campus Student Incident Report, which would serve as a way “for students to report safety concerns and events” and “for student government to start collecting data.”

Dan Cochran, dean of students at Holy Cross, expressed his concern that the lines of communication to report crimes against students are not always clear.

“When the Holy Cross students were carjacked, the South Bend police called Notre Dame, not Holy Cross,” Cochran said.

In addition to safety concerns, the coalition discussed the problems with traffic congestion on home football game days. Individuals often park too close to the corner of intersections, making drivers unable to see whether or not a car is coming from the opposite direction.
There were also concerns regarding zoning procedures and housing codes. Often landlords and families rent single-family homes to multiple Notre Dame students without the students knowing.

 “It’s a bold violation now,” said Cathy Toppel, director of code enforcement for the city of South Bend.

The CCAC will meet again on Dec. 2, at 3:30 pm at the Downtown Office of Notre Dame.