Towson University has made a new addition to its roster of staffers to ensure that the school's off-campus student population continues the university's goal to be a good neighbor.
Joyce Herold, the university's new coordinator of off-campus student services, brings to her new role over a decade of experience in educational leadership both in student life and academics. She plans to mix both backgrounds into her approach at TU.
"Before they even make the transition off campus, we educate them in various capacities on how to be a good neighbor, and the expectations that come with being a Tiger," said Herold, who started in the position earlier this month.
Herold, a New York native who holds a doctorate in educational leadership, began her work in student affairs as a resident assistant at her alma mater, West Virginia University. Since then, Herold has served in both leadership and educational capacities at West Virginia University and Prince George's Community College, where she oversaw both curriculum and student activities. There, she learned to see the various sides of the student experience.
"That gave me a really great opportunity … to listen to the students to hear what they wanted and listen to what they needed, and really get a good understanding," Herold said.
Her understanding of the students will come in handy in one of her new roles. When the university receives a complaint regarding the behavior or a student living off-campus, Herold is the student's first visitor.
Most situations are ironed out during that visit, Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Moriarty said.
"Nine times out of 10, we never hear from those students again," Moriarty said. "They're just not aware that they're acting like knuckleheads or that they have a responsibility to act differently now that they're living among people with very diverse lifestyles."
Moriarty said it's infrequent, too, when there are situations in which both students and community members are unable to cooperate to work things out.
"They are very minimal," she said. "I would say for the most part it's cooperative on both sides, but where there are problems they tend to be amplified."
Still, both sides said there has been progress in building a positive relationship between the residential community and the school's off-campus students.
"The last five or six years, relations have improved greatly between the community and the university, and we actually have recourse. We have policies in place that we can follow when there are nuisance houses in the community," Greater Towson Council Community Associations President Paul Hartman said.
"There are a lot of things they're doing that the community-at-large just doesn't know about," Hartman said. "I think it's going to pay off. It's slowly changing the attitude and the culture of the student community, and getting them to respect the residential community that they live in."
Those improvements came under Herold's predecessor, Carol Galladian, whom Hartman said left big shoes for Herold. Hartman said the community is looking forward to meeting Herold at the Feb. 11 GTCCA University Relations Committee meeting.
"We're hopeful she can pick up where Carol left off and keep improving the culture of students off campus," Hartman said.