Volunteers deliver ‘Good Neighbour Guide’ to Village residents

Some people say that good fences make good neighbours. But at York, faculty, staff and students know that good neighbours — and good neighbourhoods – grow from knowledge and mutual understanding. And so each year, York produces and distributes a Good Neighbour Guide for the Village housing development just south of campus to encourage just that.

On Monday, Sept 23, a group of more than 70 volunteers from the York and Seneca College communities, Toronto Police Services Division 31 and Toronto City Councillor Anthony Perruzza’s office came out to distribute the fourth annual Good Neighbour Guide.

DSC_0136Students from the York University English Language Institute (YUELI) deliver guides to the Village residents

The Good Neighbour Guide, is a go-to resource for students living off campus in the Village housing development. It outlines tenant rights and responsibilities and information on city services and community hotlines. It includes information on the importance of property maintenance, instructions for garbage and recycling services, snow removal requirements, parking regulations, and overall neighbourhood etiquette. Information on York University’s goSAFE program and shuttle service is also provided.

In addition to the guide, volunteers distributed materials from Toronto Fire and Toronto Police Services, a York Federation of Students (YFS) tenant rights and responsibilities door hang, and a York Security Safety Resources for Students brochure. In the spirit of community, York Lions’ sports game schedules were included in the package of materials.

“Projects like this are a great chance for the whole York community to come together to enhance the student experience – both on campus and off,” said James Allan, executive director of Community and Alumni Relations. “We were thrilled to have so many student athletes working with student leaders from YSF and York is U along with staff from across the campus. And it’s not just the York community – Seneca had staff and students out as well!”

DSC_0140Staff volunteers from York University, Seneca@York staff and students, and York Lions athletes

The event began with a few words from Toronto Councillor Anthony Perruzza and Gayle McFadden, vice-president campaigns and advocacy for the YFS. All expressed their appreciation of the volunteers for participating in the community building initiative. Janet Morrison, York vice-provost students, and Christine Blake-Durie, dean of students, Seneca College were also present to support the event. Everyone enjoyed a delicious pizza dinner from Michelangelo’s Restaurant in Atkinson Building before heading out to the Village.

Staff were joined by student volunteers from the York Lions women’s volleyball, rugby and basketball teams, Student Community and Leadership Development, York is U, York University English Language Institute, Res-Life, YFS and Seneca@York. It was a warm and sunny day for the event, perfect weather for a walk and a friendly exchange. Volunteers went door to door, distributed the packages and took the opportunity to engage in conversations with tenants and homeowners on the issues that concern them.

DSC_0156York is U student volunteers

The Good Neighbour Guide distribution effort has become a York community tradition. “We cannot thank our partners enough for their dedication to getting the word out on safety best practices as well as the rights and responsibilities of being a tenant,” said Allan.

For copies of the 2013 Good Neighbour Guide, developed in collaboration with Seneca College, the City of Toronto, and the YFS, contact Farayi Mundangepfupfu at farayi@yorku.ca or call 416-736-2100 ext. 44206.