New off-campus apartment management seeks safety
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 00:09
The new management of Carriage and Cedar Hill Apartments is seeking to create a safe and fun atmosphere this year by moving the complexes away from their history of notorious, out-of-control parties.
Ashley Lackey, the regional supervisor for Asset Campus Housing, the company now managing Carriage and Cedar Hill, emphasized the new attitude this management team is bringing to the apartments, one focused on communication between the students and management as well as with the police and the university.
“We really tried to create an opportunity for students to come to us,” Lackey said.
The new management has also been using Facebook to better communicate with residents.
“Everything that we do we try to communicate with them,” Lackey said.
Travis Darden, the manager of Carriage and Cedar Hill, discussed new programs introduced by Asset, including Free Food Fridays and a planned pig roast, designed to encourage students to get involved in the apartment community and take pride in where they live.
Additionally, Asset remodeled Cedar Hill Apartments to appeal to young residents. Carpets, appliances and fixtures were replaced and updated. Asset has also implemented a new maintenance strategy in which students are notified if a maintenance problem is not fixed within 24 hours. A new email system is working to ensure most maintenance problems are solved within that 24-hour window.
However, in turn, the new management is expecting more from the students who live there.
“I think we are a little more stern at enforcing the rules,” Davis said.
This year, all Carriage residents were required to attended a meeting where management’s expectations of them and the rules for the apartments were outlined. Residents also heard from local police and UConn Off-Campus Student Services.
Residents could not receive their V.I.P. passes without attending the meeting. The passes identify them as Carriage residents, and give recipients parking and discounts at local businesses such as Sweet Emotions and Husky Pizza. The V.I.P. passes replaced the Carriage IDs used in previous years. At first, Asset planned to eliminate the IDs completely, but was encouraged by town police to give residents some form of identification to separate them from random partygoers on busy weekends. Assets chose to go with a V.I.P pass because it seemed less intrusive.
“We didn’t want residents to feel like their apartment was a prison,” Davis said.
So far this year, David and Lackey said they have not seen the out-of-control parties seen in previous years.
“I think our residents are very respectful,” Lackey said. “More so than in previous years.”
To further ensure safety, Asset has set up a patrol plan with local police, where police will be coming by the complexes at scheduled times. However, Lackey emphasized that the police will be less involved this year than they have in the past. She said students at Carriage should be comfortable holding a controlled party without fear of the police involvement when they are doing nothing wrong. At the same time, Asset has worked to give students options when a party does get out of hand and they need help getting it back under control, according to Lackey.
Asset has been working with Sgt. Richard Cournoyer of the Mansfield Resident Troopers and interim director of Off-Campus Student Services John Armstrong to coordinate efforts to ensure having a good college time is balanced with safety and a respect of the Mansfield community.
“[Asset] wants the environment to be a safe and conducive environment to live and study,” said Armstrong.
Off-Campus Student Services works with many of the off-campus housing options for students to ensure off-campus students are aware of their options and responsibilities, according to Armstrong.
Armstrong also wanted to tell students about the Nuisance Ordinance in Mansfield, which applies to all off-campus students living in the town of Mansfield. The ordinance punishes “any behavior which substantially interferes with the comfort or safety of other residents or occupants of the same or nearby buildings or structures.” Students in violation of the Ordinance can be fined $250 per person per unit.
Additional Mansfield ordinances can be found on Off-Campus Student Services’ website.