LION Walk, designed to promote community spirit, rescheduled

University Park, Pa. — Living In One Neighborhood (LION), a program jointly sponsored by Penn State's Division of Student Affairs, the Off-Campus Student Union and State College Borough, will be holding its premiere event, the LION Walk, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 31. The event, initially scheduled to take place on Aug. 23, was rescheduled because of inclement weather. Now in its third year, the walk is a community event designed to share information with all residents, students and nonstudents, about neighborliness, responsibility and respect.

As part of the event, teams of four (including a student, a police officer, a senior University official and a borough official) will visit select neighborhoods where a mix of students and permanent residents live. This year, twice as many student groups will be participating as in previous years, and teams will visit nearly 700 homes in the Highlands, Holmes-Foster, College West and College Heights neighborhoods.

Participants this year will include Penn State President Graham Spanier, Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims, State College Borough Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Director of University Police Steve Shelow, State College Borough Police Chief Tom King, Borough Manager Tom Fountaine, Borough Council President Ron Filippelli, Off-Campus Student Union President Bobby Ryan, and UPUA President Christian Ragland. The Nittany Lion mascot also will make a special appearance.

Teams will distribute packets containing information about personal safety, being a good neighbor, hosting safe parties and dangerous drinking; packets also will contain pointers on how to live in an environmentally friendly way, and will outline borough ordinances that govern trash, noise, parking and recycling. Residents who receive a visit from one of the groups on the LION Walk are encouraged to complete an online survey to help plan for next year’s event. Respondents will be entered into a raffle to win one of two $100 downtown State College gift cards.

The LION program is derived from similar initiatives at Colorado State University, the University of Colorado and Texas A&M University. Based upon their experiences, such programs have been successful in fostering better neighborhood relations between student and nonstudent residents. As a result, these communities have benefited from safer, cleaner and generally more inviting neighborhoods.

Last Updated August 23, 2011