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Schmidt receives local recognition

Amanda Gray | Thursday, March 18, 2010

Student body president Grant Schmidt received local recognition at a recent awards ceremony with the South Bend Police Department (SBPD).

“Grant has made it a part of his platform to really work close with the community and make sure that if there’s an opportunity to enhance relations between the students and the community that we do so,” Vice President of Public Affairs Tim Sexton said of Schmidt’s Special Recognition Award. “He’s been very successful with doing that.”

The eighth annual awards ceremony was held March 14 at the Ivy Tech Cyber Café and honored 75 police officers and civilians, the South Bend Tribune reported.

“He’s worked very hard regarding off-campus safety. He’s worked very hard with Transpo and extending the hours that Transpo runs on Friday and Saturday nights for getting students back and forth from downtown South Bend,” Sexton said. “He’s just done an awful lot that the community saw and wanted to thank him for all his hard work.”

Denise Baron, Community Relations Committee chair of Student Senate, said the community has been appreciative of Schmidt’s work for a long time.

“This might be his first formal recognition, but he’s definitely been informally recognized,” Baron said. 

Schmidt said he hopes this will help foster good relations between the University and the greater community.

“This was a recognition by the police department,” Schmidt said. “We’ve met with [members of the South Bend Police Department] and had conversations about safety issues and general good neighbor relations. It was a great recognition to represent the fact that I think we’ve come a long way in regards to the relation between students and the city of South Bend, and I hope that relation continues.”

Schmidt’s involvement with the Campus Community Advisory Council shows his dedication to community relations, Sexton said.

“You have representatives coming to these [community] meetings, including Grant and Denise Baron,” Sexton said. “When it comes to safety and crime prevention in the neighborhood, the challenge that we have is a lot of students living in the Northeast Neighborhood for a year or two, then somebody new comes in.”

Sexton said he would like to see improved relationships between students and permanent residents in the community.

“For the residents that are permanent, it’s an ongoing, consistent attempt to build relationships with students living by them, make them aware of what it means to be a good neighbor,” he said. “Grant [Schmidt] and his team from student government have just done a great job of moving that in a positive fashion.”

Schmidt said the recognition is proof that relations have already starting to improve.
“That award is representative of the fact that students in general are having better relations with their neighbors and with the city,” Schmidt said.