University of Vermont

Office Of Student And Community Relations

JAugust 2015
Welcome Back!

In This Issue...

ALERT: Bike Thefts
Welcome Emily!
Budget Payment Plan - Electricity
Budget Payment Plan - Gas
Roommate Agreements
When Do I Put Out My Recycling & Trash?
Have a Heart!
Top 12 Things To Do Around Town
Save the Monarchs!
Career Opportunities
Just Because...
Contact Us
Submit A Story
August 2015

It's August and we are excited to see so many students back in the City for trainings and orientations with Athletics and Residential Life, jobs in labs, or just to settle in a little early in their Burlington homes.

This is a great time to plan ahead and make your Fall semester smooth sailing. Things like:
  • Figuring out when you should put out your trash (ask your landlord if you live in a duplex, triplex or apartment building) and recycling.
  • A payment plan for your electricity or fuel heat, so you don't end up with a huge bill over the Winter.
  • Have a conversation with your roommates about household management and create a great roommate agreement to keep little things from growing into a major conflict.
It is also a great time to meet your neighbors - join us for Welcome Bag distribution and have a great excuse for knocking on their door and introducing yourself!

This year we will be setting up drop-in hours so you can pass by to chat, just have some tea and snacks (we provide), or to use our library and study spaces (we have WiFi!). And last but not least, it would also be a great time to pass by and meet our new team member Emily!

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Bike Thefts

This time of year always sees a huge spike in bicycle thefts. But there is a lot you can do to protect your bike. First, register your bike with UVM Police Services (lots of bikes get recovered but can't be reunited with owners because the owner hasn't registered their bike). Second, take the time to lock up your bike well - check out this video. Remember, the longer you take to secure your bike the longer it will take someone to steal it.

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Welcome Emily!

We are very excited to add a new member to our team at OSCR - Emily Howe. Here she is in her own words:

"Hi there! My name is Emily Howe and I am very excited to be stepping in as the new Office Manager at OSCR. As a recent graduate of UVM and a fellow Burlington resident, I am looking forward to connecting with our community in new and meaningful ways. During my time as an undergraduate, I studied History and Secondary Education and was involved in a number of service organizations, including Alternative Spring Break, Service TREK, and a co-ed service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega. I also had the opportunity to attend UVM's Examining White Privilege Retreat and to both attend and serve as a facilitator for the Next Step Social Justice Retreat. Through these experiences and others, I discovered my passion for both social justice and service work, which I am looking forward to exploring further through this position. In the coming weeks, feel free drop me a line to say hello - I look forward to meeting you at on- and off-campus events alike!"

- Emily

Budget Plans - Electricity

Do you have electric heat, range, hot water heater for your apartment? Are you worried that your bills over the Winter might be huge? Well there is a solution - a budget payment plan. Basically, The Burlington Electric Department takes the average yearly costs for your location and divides that total into 12 equal payments. At the end if you use less electricity than the average you get that back as a credit. For more information check out their webpage.

Budget Plans - Gas

No one knows how long or cold this Winter will be. But we do know that our costs for heating our homes, if we use gas, go up dramatically compared to Summer bills. If you want to pay a fixed monthly amount, you can set up a Budget Payment Plan with many providers. VT Gas has an online form if you have account and Amerigas (for those with propane) also have a variety of payment options. If you have a different heating fuel provider check out their website for these kinds of budget payment plans, most offer an option.

New Roommates?

Living with roommates is a great opportunity to learn that not everyone lives their lives like you. Maybe you grew up doing dishes directly after meals, taking out the trash only when stuff starts falling out the garbage can, or falling asleep to music. Although these kinds of things seem little (or even normal) to you, they may be a source of friction with roommates if they grew up with different patterns of living. When you add sharing expenses to the list, things can get heated quickly. The best strategy to avoid conflict with your roommates is to have a simple, explicit agreement that everyone signs that outlines house rules and responsibilities. Here is a great place to start - a roommate agreement template from VT Tenants.

You can also contact us if you need help with facilitating a difficult conversation with a roommate. We provide conflict resolution sessions all the time either at our office or a location you request. The #1 thing people say after a session is "I wish I had done this right when the problem started instead of being angry/uncomfortable for the entire semester". Don't let issues drag on and intensify, let us help you keep the peace.

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When Do I Put Out My Recycling?

One of the easiest way to annoy your neighbors and create unwanted litter is to not know when to put out your recycling or trash.

The city has three recycling trucks that collect recycling each weekday starting at 7:00 AM. Pick-up is by street, check out this pdf to find out when to put out your recycling so that it doesn't end up all over the street. If you have more questions check out this FAQ at the Chittenden Solid Waste District website.

If you live in a single-family home rental, you are responsible for setting up the disposal of garbage. To find a company to service your home check out this list.

Also, check out this Seven Days article on the new state recycling law and this blog post from CSWD that includes where to find used treasures.

PRO TIP: Make sure to bring in your recycling container to the side of your house after your pickup - you could be fined if you don't! For more pro tips check out our Off Campus Living Survival Guide.

Counter-storytelling Class

This course is being offered by the ALANA Student Center this coming Fall. Anyone interested in the course can take it--no prerequisites, open to degree and non-degree seeking individuals, open to undergraduate and graduate students, etc. But, there are only 15 seats available so register soon if you are interested. For more information contact Sara Childs.

Have A Heart

Opening weekend is an exciting time of year - reconnecting with friends you haven't seen all summer, actually living with your roommates for the first time, and enjoying all that Burlington has to offer. While you are out and about having fun, please remember to be a good neighbor and keep conscious of the impact your activities (like late night noise) may have on your neighborhood.

Service TREK Top 12

For the 3rd year in a row, Service TREK leaders have teamed up with our office to survey the neighborhoods around UVM around both issues and opportunities in different neighborhoods. One question we ask is "What do you think is one thing I should not miss doing or seeing in Burlington during my time at UVM?". Here are the Top 12 responses:
  1. Get a Cremee at the waterfront and find a swing to watch the sunset.
  2. Visit the Intervale and see where some of your food comes from.
  3. Ride the bike path from end to end.
  4. Visit the Ethan Allen Tower.
  5. Sail on Lake Champlain with the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center - they have adaptive sailboats too!
  6. Or just rent a canoe or kayak for $15 and have an hour of fun.
  7. Visit Shelburne Farms!
  8. Visit a farmer's market - Burlington's Farmer's & Artist Market or Old North End Farmer's Market.
  9. SEABA Art Hop.
  10. Attend the VT International Film Festival.
  11. Mt. Philo State Park!
  12. Take a cruise on Lake Champlain - Daily Scenic, Murder Mystery, or entertain yourself on the Ferry to NY and back.
  13. People watch on Church Street.
  14. Grab a great cup of coffee at Uncommon Grounds for the walk up the hill.
See how our list compares to the recent articles from the New York Times and the Burlington Free Press.

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Helping Monarchs

Did you know the regal and instantly recognizable Monarch is Vermont's state butterfly? It is also one of many specifies of butterflies and other invertebrates (like bees) that have seen a huge decline in recent years.

It was for this reason that the Isham Street Gardening & Other Optimistic Doings (ISGOOD) neighborhood group decided to lend a helping hand. The Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center, which towers at the South side of Isham street, collaborated in a milkweed starting party with clients who love gardening but can no longer do so because of physical limitations.

In early Spring of 2014, the milkweed plants they started were transferred to the greenbelt gardens along Isham. That first year we saw a single Monarch find their way to the milkweed.

This year the news it out and about the butterfly community because monarchs can be seen floating around the milkweed plants almost everyday of the week. We caught a glimpse of this one on a one hour visit to the street with city officials.

So take a stroll down Isham and enjoy the wonderful blooms of the gardens and the incredible beauty of the Monarchs flitting around the street.

Career Opportunities

We are making this column a regular part of our newsletters. We will highlight career opportunities - on and off campus. So make sure to check the newsletter each month and if you have an opportunity to share make sure to let us know.

The Office of the Speaker of the House has paid internships available for highly motivated students. The internship will begin in mid-September with an option to continue during the legislative session.

Responsibilities will include: interacting with elected officials, corresponding with constituents, researching legislation, attending committee hearings, helping maintain the office website, and general administrative tasks.

For more information, contact Dylan Giambatista

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Just Because...

This baby elephant is chasing...

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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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Last modified March 17 2016 03:28 PM