Community Engagement Programs

Good Neighbor Initiative

The Good Neighbor Initiative, sponsored by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Life, is entering its 10th year this fall. The program, which began in 2004, is an effort by the Chapel Hill Police Department to promote positive living experiences in those neighborhoods where students and non-students live in close proximity. Over time, the scope of the initiative has grown to include Northside, Pine Knolls, and the Cameron-McCauley neighborhoods, as well as North Street, Davie Circle, and the Dawes Street/Coolidge Street area. The initiative has also added partnered with EmPowerment Inc., UNC-Chapel Hill, the Downtown Partnership, the Town Planning Dept. and the Jackson Center, among others.

The initiative includes door-to-door visits in neighborhoods where students and non-students to talk about what it means to be a good neighbor, including a discussion of local ordinances and laws that if followed correctly, will lead to peaceful cohabitation. The initiative has expanded to include over 60 volunteers for the door-to-door visits, reaching over 1,000 homes, in addition to a neighborhood block party.

Bonner Leaders Program

The Bonner Leaders Program at UNC is part of a nationwide network of more than 80 colleges and universities that provide service-based scholarships and leverage federal community service work-study funds to support intensive undergraduate community service and social justice activities throughout students’ college careers. Each year, a diverse group of incoming first-year students are chosen through a competitive application process emphasizing service and leadership.

The sustained service program, housed in and staffed by the Campus Y, follows a four-year model designed to engage students in addressing community-identified needs. They initially work as direct-service volunteers, grow into project and site coordinators, and ultimately engage in public policy and community-based research. The service requirement is significant – more than 250 hours per year – and is complemented by weekly meetings, leadership workshops, and capacity building seminars. It is a campus-wide, interdisciplinary initiative involving both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

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