Students are back in town, the campus is filled with activity and the downtown is bustling. These familiar fall changes can only mean one thing. It’s that time of year again – Davis Neighbors’ Night Out.
From noon to 9 p.m. this Sunday, the community celebration will be in full effect thanks to the efforts of sponsors Associated Students of UC Davis, the University and the City of Davis.
Throughout the city, neighbors, Neighborhood Watch Liaisons and apartment complexes will host block parties in every form imaginable – dinners, dessert parties, cookie exchanges, barbeques, potlucks and ice cream socials.
The fourth annual Neighbors’ Night Out is expected to be even bigger than last year. There are 135 registered parties this year, with 60 the first year and 80 and 87 in subsequent years.
Special guests will include Mayor Ruth Asmundson, city council members, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, provosts and ASUCD Senators.
The celebration is designed to facilitate cooperation and collaboration.
The main theme of the event is to bring all neighbors together to meet each other and exchange contact information. The event allows an opportunity that allows new and returning students to meet their neighbors and discuss expectations for the neighborhood.
In the event that future difficulties will arise in a neighborhood, residents will have a stronger base to communicate with each other, said Gary Sandy, director of local government relations. Residents will be able to talk about expectations as far as noise and parties go, property pickup and garbage maintenance, instead of waiting until problems arise and police are involved.
Fifty percent of single family homes are rentals. Each year, people living in single family neighborhoods have renters moving in and out quite often, principally students.
It is particularly important for students to attend because even though they may only stay in their residences a couple of years, other neighbors want to get to know them. It is important to take the time to get to know students, especially since they have just arrived for the fall quarter, Sandy said. The historic Unitrans double-decker buses will be sent out, giving Davisites a chance to take a look inside. The police and fire departments will make visits, as well as UC Davis mascot Gunrock and the police dog.
It wouldn’t be a party without prizes. A raffle will include a free Kaplan course, at a $1,900 value, T-shirts for part hosts, gift baskets and gift certificates to Yolo Berry, Woodstock’s and In-N-Out, to name a few.
Tandem Properties is hosting a party at The Colleges Apartment Complex. The Graduate will cater a barbeque at The College’s grassy quad area from 1 to 3 p.m.
Another important aspect is the discussion over safe parties.
“We really need to get students’ awareness up about the very real risks to health and safety in having large and out-of-control parties,” Sandy said. “We are not saying don’t party, but party safely and responsibly; have rules.”
Student involvement will only enrich the celebration, said Michelle Johnston, UC Davis Health promotion supervisor.
The sponsors encourage student to either host a party, since it’s not too late to sign up, or to attend one in their neighborhood.
“Starting the academic year on a positive note will reduce the potential for misunderstandings or conflicts by opening lines of communication among all residents,” according to a City of Davis press release.
For more information on how to become a partial host and a full list of event locations, please visit cityofdavis.org/neighbors.
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.