Background and Rationale: Highlands neighbors should get to know each other. That’s the simple idea behind the Neighbor to Neighbor(N2N) program, started in fall 2010 as a result of a meeting that brought together fraternities, Highlands neighbors, and civic representatives to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The Highlands, Penn State’s neighbor to the south and home to 40 Greek fraternities, is a neighborhood which is a mix of permanent and student residents. In 2010, five Highlands families invited five fraternities to pilot a program called Neighbor to Neighbor. The program is informal, intended to simply establish neighborly contact between fraternities and residents. Each participating Highlands family serves as a contact for a specific fraternity. Family/fraternity interactions vary, depending on what they choose to do.
Currently, 23 fraternity chapters and one sorority chapter are paired with Highlands residents.
How the Program Works:
Typically, the chapters elect leaders for January to January terms. In February, participating N2N chapters are asked to initiate contact with their resident partners. This contact is an opportunity to exchange contact information and discuss what kinds of interactions might be beneficial. Sometimes simply having a neighbor to contact is enough to start.
Examples of Interaction:
- Resident partners in need of assistance with home chores have been willingly helped by their fraternity partners.
- IFC invites all partners to an annual Spring Luncheon in the Highlands
- After a particularly loud party, a fraternity contacted the N2N family to apologize to the neighborhood. This apology was communicated through the Highlands listserv.
- N2N family invited to Parents’ Day dinner at the fraternity
- N2N resident introduces a fraternity brother to a career contact
- Fraternity participants are asked to share their chapters’ histories with their partners and invite them to join in with annual IFC activities.
- Some families deliver cookies to the brothers or invite their chapters’ leadership to dinner.
- On a snow day, chapters shovel walks for residents.
As the leadership of each Greek letter organization changes from year to year, so too, do issues and activities. As a resource, each N2N resident partner will be available year after year. Hopefully, this continuity is beneficial to our entire neighborhood.
The IFC VP of Community Relations, Mike Stumpko, the VP of Community Development for Panhellenic, Priya Patel, and a Highlands neighbor, Dina Liberatore, work together to coordinate the 2021 N2N. If you are interested in participating contact Dina at firstname.lastname@example.org.