Campus and Community United refines goals to help neighborhood

first_imgThough it spent last year actively seeking out student members, Campus and Community United has been a little quieter this semester — but only in hopes of making a greater impact by focusing on six main goals.CCU is a student group attempting to promote and preserve the interests of USC’s neighboring community, particularly as the university looks to expand and develop the University Park Campus. Last year, the group focused on generally helping the community, but this year it has developed a more strategic plan.Helping hand· Juniors Toby Eversole and Andrey Artamonov use the services of L.A. Bicycles, a local business CCU is attempting to assist. – Geo Tu | Daily TrojanJennifer Yee, alumni and parent coordinator for CCU, said she was excited about the group’s new focus.“Previously, we concentrated a lot on outreach around a general act of principles. Right now we are realizing that it is more important to have a core group of people who are dedicated than 50 people coming in and out of the club,” said Yee, a junior majoring in comparative literature.This year, CCU is focusing on a six-point plan that Yee said the group members feel will be more effective.“Last year, we focused a lot on outreach around a general set of principles and ideals. Now we have made six concrete campaigns and now we’re deciding which of the campaigns will be the most feasible and have the most impact,” Yee said.The six goals CCU plans to explore include getting students involved in USC’s Master Plan, creating a neighborhood opportunity center to foster a pipeline for economic opportunity and making more affordable transit.With its new approach, CCU is hoping to work directly with community partners, said Daniel Wu, the group’s faculty and projects coordinator.“The purpose of CCU is to promote neighborhood opportunity, and this year we are really hoping to expand on our coalition and develop relations with partners in order to put movement towards our goals,” Wu, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, said.Rachel Zolensky, a new member, said she liked the six-point plan the previous group members have come up with as a new focus for this year.“I like how each goal addresses specific issues and also addresses how USC fits into each of those specific issues,” said Zolensky, a sophomore majoring in sociology.Though the club has picked the issues it wants to focus on, it has not yet developed concrete methods for attacking these problems. They do know, however, they want support from the university community.“We are really trying to build off of USC’s tradition of service for the community. [President Stephen B. Sample] stresses the importance of housing and jobs for USC’s surrounding neighbors and so does CCU,” Wu said.Wu said the club is striving to get undergraduates, graduates and staff to rethink the way they see cities and neighborhoods.Currently, members like Yee, Zolensky and Wu are appealing to the USC administration to retain the small-town feel of the University Village, rather than bringing in large businesses like those seen at the Grove and Beverly Center.“We don’t need a mini-Grove. One of our main goals would be to survey people and get the administration to realize that there’s an appreciation for local small businesses and the USC flavor,” Yee said.last_img