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CCAC is finally underway

Joseph McMahon | Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Community Campus Advisory Coalition (CCAC), which was created more than five months ago as a forum for city and college representatives to discuss community relations, will meet for the first time Wednesday.

“While there’s not an agenda at this moment, I’m anticipating that it’s going to be more of a meet-and-greet for everyone that’s involved so that we can establish our agenda for CCAC as a committee in the sense of what issues it is going to tackle,” student body president Liz Brown said.

The coalition was originally formed in late September after South Bend Common Council members decided not to implement regulations requiring residents to pre-register large gatherings with the city.

The ordinance, which Council members said was in response to raucous student partying off campus, eventually passed with rules to require party permits that could be enacted in the future – an option the Council could pursue if it chooses.

In the meantime, however, the ordinance also laid out a plan for the CCAC, designed to increase dialogue about problems between South Bend residents and students off campus.

Brown, who represented the student body during discussion of the ordinance last summer and fall, said the meeting would be a good opportunity for people on both sides to voice their concerns.

“The first and foremost goal is to establish a body for continued communication between the community and the area universities,” Brown said. “From there, the secondary goals would be for us to have a candid discussion about the issues that are affecting us the most. I know those aren’t very tangible goals, but at this point, my goals are just to bring everyone to the table to see where we can go.”

The first meeting of the CCAC, which will take place at 3 p.m. at the South Bend County-City Building, was planned two weeks ago.

“This was a long time coming, so I’m finally glad that it’s coming to fruition,” Brown said.

Although she was an integral part in lobbying for the group, Brown said her most important goal for the meeting was introducing incoming student body president Bob Reish to the Common Council.

“Reish is going to be coming to the meeting with me on Wednesday and he will be able to take over the job and continue with the relationships that we’ve established over the last seven or eight months,” Brown said. “I’m happy that it’s meeting, if nothing else just so that I can give Bob some pointers before I leave office.”

Reish said he was looking forward to the meeting, but would attend simply as an observer.

“Basically, I’m going to be there tomorrow in an observing role to help ease the transition between this year and next year,” Reish said. “I’m just going to be taking more of a second role to see how this meeting can help for future meetings next year.”

Council member Al “Buddy” Kirsits, one of the sponsors of the original ordinance, did not return phone calls Monday. Council president Tim Rouse said Monday that he did not wish to comment.