University of Vermont

Office Of Student And Community Relations

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Renter Pro Tips, Noisy Neighbors, and FREE Tickets
Happy Spring!
In This Issue
Hello, Sunshine!
Ask Ben
Don't Keep Paying for Your Old Apt.
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Sustainability at Work
FREE Lane Series Tickets
Intervale FoodHub + Sodexo!
Free Flynn Center Tickets
Have Lease Questions Answered!
What is a Victim's Advocate?
Banish $400 heating bills next year!
Get Your Bike in Shape
Submit a Story
Contact Us

April 2014

Hello, Sunshine!

It is with immense gratitude that we have enjoyed the steadily rising temperatures and sunny days of early April. That change in weather signals another change - starting to plan for the end of the academic year, the summer, and beyond. In this issue you will find some great tips for making move out a pleasant and sustainable activity. We hope you enjoy!

Amanda, Gail, John

P.S. -
Make sure to save the date for the Spring Move Out Project on May 22 from 11-4 on Loomis & Bradley Streets! Keep an eye out for more information.

P.P.S. - Check out the DC Banner space for a weekly Safety Message and then go to our quiz with more free tickets!

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Dear Ben:

I live off campus. The guy next door plays his music and movies really loud - I can listen to it perfectly in my apartment. It’s so distracting that I have to go to the library or a coffee shop to study now. Last week I lost it and told him off through the wall. He turned it down for a while but it's getting back to where it was. How can I get him to turn it down permanently?

Desperately Distracted

I’ve lived in apartments and I can remember times when neighbors were inconsiderately loud. Why do some neighbors not get it that we don’t care to listen to their music/movies/etc. That’s why you pay your own rent and have your own apartment! You tried the route of angrily yelling at him through a wall to lower the volume but it has not achieved the desired outcome.

Usually it doesn’t. So what’s next?

You could I file a complaint with the manager of the building. That might work, but then again it might not. It will certainly lead to sorer feelings between the two of you.

I think filing a complaint with the landlord is a good last resort, which should not be taken off the table. In fact, if you can hear the noise from outside the house you could even call the police with a noise complaint. But I think another course of action might have better results. I encourage you to try a simple but powerful communication technique to share your needs and then hopefully get the peace and quiet you need. That is if it feels safe to approach them - it might not.

It has four elements, they are: Observe what is happening, express your feelings, express your needs and make a request. What does it sound like? Something along the lines of: “Excuse me Mr. Neighbor, when I hear your music coming through the walls while I am trying to study, I feel really upset, because I need peace and quiet to get my work done. Can you to please lower the volume. Thanks.”

These are just the facts and it’s that simple. No moralistic judgments, evaluations, criticisms, demands, coercion, or labels of “right" versus "wrong.” As far as we know, he is human and understands the need for peace and quiet too. Most fellow humans can empathize with universal needs. By framing the conversation around our needs and not judgments we are speaking up for ourselves and encouraging people to be more considerate of us. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Ben Bosley

Have a question for Ben? Email it!

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Don't Keep Paying for Your Old Apartment!

In Burlington, you have to give your landlord written notice whether you are planning to move out or sign on for another year at least two rental periods (generally two months) before your lease ends. If you don't, you could be liable for the rent if the apartment is unoccupied after your lease expires!

Here are a list to help your move out be less stressful and that you get your security deposit back. If you want to ask an expert some questions in person check out the event below.

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Celebrate Earth Day

Tour the Recycling & Composting Facilities

Celebrate Earth Day by touring CSWD's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Green Mountain Compost's (GMC) composting facility! See first-hand how your blue bin recyclables are processed and sent to market at the MRF. Come to the tour at GMC and see how your food scraps become rich, beautiful compost!

Dates: Monday, April 21 or Tuesday, April 22
MRF Recycling Tour Time: 11:00 am to 12:00 noon at the MRF
GMC Composing Tour Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm at GMC

REGISTRATION REQUIRED! These are popular tours and space is limited, so sign up early! Sign up for one tour or both by sending an email to If you are attending both tours, feel free to bring a bag lunch to eat at the picnic tables at GMC.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFO: You must provide your own transportation to and from facilities. Tour-goers must be at least 10 years old and adhere to these requirements: MRF requirements / Green Mountain Compost requirements.

Note: Tours are conducted partially outside, take place regardless of the weather, and involve some steps and tight spaces.

Gabriel Kahane &
Rob Moose

Gabriel Kahane is a classically trained singer/pianist/composer who has two intersecting areas of creative work: as a popular singer/songwriter with hints of contemporary indie and folk, and as a classical composer. He is joined by the exceptional multi-instrumentalist Rob Moose, who plays with renowned bands Bon Iver and Antony and the Johnsons and freelances with artists as diverse as Sir Paul McCartney and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. This promises to be an incredible concert and you can win FREE tickets by answering our 30 second safety quiz! You can find the answers to our safety quiz by looking for banners in the Davis Center that give you the answer - a new banner each week so plenty of chances to win.

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Food Hub + Sodexo!

Want to support Vermont farmers and enjoy the convenience of eating on campus? You can have both! The Intervale Food Hub has partnered with University Dining Services at UVM to offer local food subscriptions combined with points. You can now cook at home with local foods and still enjoy a meal, drink or snack on-campus between classes – all while saving money!

Read our FAQ or click here to sign up!

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FREE Tickets to
Arturo O'Farrill

Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O’Farrill and the extraordinary 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra are “a joyful force” (NPR) that fuses Latin rhythms, clave, African-based percussion, modern jazz, and swing. The NYC powerhouse preserves the classic sounds of Latin dance bands while embracing its experimental side, roaring through compositions by Latin music’s best: Machito, Tito Puente, Astor Piazzola, Hermeto Pascoal, and his own father, Chico O’Farrill. A veteran of the groups of Dizzy Gillespie and Harry Belafonte, O’Farrill leads the orchestra in a performance that spans the Americas, playing both traditional cuts and commissioned works with the fire of a mambo workout.

We are offering tickets to three randomly selected people who complete this 30 second safety quiz. You can find the answers to the quiz by looking for banners, a different one each week, in the Davis Center that contain the answer.

Beauty vs. Crime

By Murielle Foyou

Part of the GeoStories Project

Burlington resident Phil Hammerslough moved to Burlington to escape the suburbs — and found that living on Isham Street, with his mostly-student neighbors, brought its own energy and excitement — and noise, garbage, and crime. Here’s how he’s bringing his neighbors together to beautify the street and strengthen community bonds.

What does a neighborhood look like when college students and community residents share a street? How can changing the look of a neighborhood bring people closer together? Employment training specialist and transportation advocate Phil Hammerslough knows firsthand. Since 2004, he’s lived on Isham Street in Burlington, just yards from the UVM campus. He cofounded ISGOOD --Isham Street Gardening and Other Optimistic Doings-- four years ago to help engage his student and non-student neighbors in community-building projects. I sat down with Phil to talk about what his strategy has been.

Phil: We moved into this house in November 2004. We moved from Essex Junction Suburbia to the City of Burlingto. And our reasons from moving here are: one, I love urban life, two, it makes the quality of my life much better since I don’t drive, I have access to everything easily. And I mean there’s walking, biking, public transportation. It’s a great central neighborhood, it’s got beautiful architecture. It needs a lot of work. That’s what urban pioneering is about.

MURIELLE: What do you think about the street you live on and your neighborhood?

PHIL: I can go on about that for hours. I love the street itself. Like I said the architecture is great. It’s in tremendous need of work, environmentally, socially. I think the key to this neighborhood is that it’s a very transient neighborhood. Nobody feels the sense of ownership. And that’s one of the things we’re trying to create with the ISGOOD project and that’s what part of urban pioneering is about. It’s about getting the neighborhood to feel empowered and the people in it to become active and communicate more.

MURIELLE: How do you think the physical environment of your street impacts behavior?

PHIL: Tremendously, if you see garbage on the street, if you see places run down. If you are renting and paying a lot of money for rent and not getting much out of it, you don’t feel empowered. If you see other people behave in a way that’s inappropriate, you feel like it is okay for you to behave that way. And those are some of the negatives. The positives are: it’s a side street. It can be very quiet sometimes. I think if we could slow cars down a lot more, we’ve already done it by putting up bump outs which make cars a little bit more aware, people would start wanting to be on the streets again.

MURIELLE: Do you think safety wise everything is okay?

PHIL: No. But that’s true for pretty much the whole city. There’s been a great deal of theft and burglary. I think it’s due to drugs, to people knowing that students are vulnerable because they are away in class all the time. It’s no different than working people, but because unlike neighbors that are more permanent in their neighborhood, there’s less interaction...and with less interaction comes the isolation...and with the isolation comes more vulnerability...and that’s still a tremendous issue we’ve been dealing with.

MURIELLE: What are the changes you would like to see occurring in your neighborhood?

PHIL: Well. That’s one of the things it is good to spell out, which is taking the green spaces and turning them in to a flower gardens, since the city doesn’t want to plant trees—too many anyways. It took us 8 years to get 2 trees and then the bump outs. It was a long process.

And change wise, I’d like to see more permanence, I’d love to see students saying for two years rather than six or seven months. If they stayed for two years they’d have more of a sense of ownership, and that’s sort of the key. When you have a sense of ownership, you take responsibility and it is part of that empowerment, you know who to complain to if there’s an issue.

Phil Hammerslough knows ISGOOD is just one step in the long, but worthwhile journey of building community. And one positive step can lead to many more. It all begins with people working together. As he says, "You would work together with the rest of the neighbors on the block there are many benefits - people planting together, then communicating together, working together, that’s empowerment. What it does is, it gets things moving and provides a sense of belonging.

Join Maddie Roberts of Vermont Tenants, a statewide tenant advocacy group, for a Q&A session in the Davis Center Atrium on April 18 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. She can answer questions from eviction to security deposits and anything in between. Don't miss this important event before you begin your move out!

The weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining longer; with the change in seasons your utility bills may quickly fall to more manageable levels. Want to avoid the surprise of a $400 heating bill for January next year? Many utility companies have a payment plan that spreads out your yearly bill so you pay the same amount each month. Check out these websites for information so next winter you aren't chilled by huge bills!

Vermont Gas
Budget Plan - enroll online or by phone

Burlington Electric
Budget Payment Plan - enroll by phone

Green Mountain Power
Budget Billing - enroll by phone

The Dr. Is In!

Celebrate Earth Week by getting in gear for the cycling season! The Bike Users Group (BUG), Local Motion, Old Spokes Home, Ski Rack, Student Life and OSCR are teaming up for this annual event. Offering:

-Bike tune ups!
-Discounted helmets!
-Safety info!

Wednesday, April 23
11:00 am - 3:30 pm
Davis Center Outdoor Stage space

Interested in sharing your
voice in the newsletter?

Submit anything from a suggestion for a story to a finished piece - we want to hear from you!
Submit My Story
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Contact Us

Whether you have a specific issue, want to make some tea before class, or are just curious about what we're up to, please stop by Pearl House and let us help make your off-campus experience successful, positive, and empowering.

We are located at 12 Colchester Avenue - next to John Dewey Hall and in front of the Outing Club.

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Stay in touch!

Copyright © 2014 Office of Student & Community Relations, All rights reserved.

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Our mailing address is:
Office of Student & Community Relations
12 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405

Last modified November 13 2014 01:28 PM