Thursday, April 20, 2006

Durham manager touts WFU/W-S plan

An interesting sidebar to the Duke lacrosse story appeared in the Herald-Sun today. Durham City Manager Patrick Baker planned to talk to Duke officials today in an attempt to get them to take a look at a policy Wake Forest has impelemented that has decreased tensions between off campus students and neighboring residents. Wake officials created a policy in the following spirit:

Wake enforces the policy by defining the chance to live in off-campus housing as a privilege, one its students can lose for even minor infractions. Students have to apply for permission to live off-campus, and administrators use the process to control where students live and how many move into a given house or apartment.

Baker, a WFU alum, told the H-S the plan was at least worth at look, but not a cure-all.

Duke's press spokesman could not have been more non-committal:

"We're welcoming input" about the university's judicial process, said John Burness, Duke senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. "I think it is appropriate that we invite the city manager to talk about that."

I admire Baker's optimism in hoping to improve the relationship between the city and university. We'll see how far he gets.

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