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Borough Community Engagement Office Introduces Off-Campus Living Guide

The State College Borough Community Engagement Office, in conjunction with the Off-Campus Student Union, is introducing an off-campus living booklet called the LION Guide. The guide seeks to simplify and streamline information about the off-campus living process, which can be confusing for students new to downtown living.

Community Engagement intern Amy Hopf has worked on editing the LION Guide over the past few months, after a previous intern gathered content and started the writing process. The Off-Campus Student Union partnered with the Community Engagement Office to help with distribution, gathering student organization advertisers, and rounding up testimonials for the Guide.

The LION Guide compiles all the information normally given to off-campus students through the LION Walk, and organizes it in an easy-to-reference format. “We felt it was a better way to get out all the information students who are moving off-campus need, instead of a bunch of different pieces of paper and flyers. It’s all gathered together in one spot where students can go back and check if problems arise or they have questions throughout the year,” Hopf said. The Guide will be distributed at the LION Walk in August, at the housing fair in the Fall semester, and as a PDF sent out over the student listserv.

“Overall, the [LION Guide] and the Office of Community Engagement share a similar mission of bringing students into the off-campus environment and allowing them to feel as if they’re part of the community. It’s very important that students and long-term residents work together and with local government to make sure goals are met and everyone’s insights and interests are included,” Hopf said.

The LION Guide is just one “LION”-branded initiative in a set of projects the Community Engagement Office is enacting to join town and gown relationships. LION stands for “Living In One Neighborhood,” and describes projects that are meant to bring together students and community members for shared interests, and help teach everyone be a good neighbor.

The Community Engagement Office is an office within the Borough Administration that seeks “to enhance the unique town-gown relationship between Penn State and the Borough of State College by providing residential community members with robust experiences that bring Penn State students, permanent residents and community leaders together for healthy dialogues,” according to the Borough website. The LION Guide is scheduled to be released in Fall 2015.

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About the Author

Melissa McCleery

Melissa is a senior majoring in Women’s Studies, Political Science, and Spanish. In the little free time she has, Melissa likes to cook, spend all her money at The Phyrst, and add to her collection of blue and white striped clothing. She can be reached via Twitter (@mkmccleery) or email ([email protected]).

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