November 18, 2002
A meeting of the Town & Gown Committee took place on Monday, November 18, 2002, at 7:30 p.m. in the City Manager's Conference Room. The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Joan Odell. Members attending were: Carl Anastasia, David Athey, Gerald Conway, Cynthia Cummings, Hal Godwin, Carl Luft, James Neal, Hal Prettyman, Marilyn Prime, Larry Thornton and Larry Walker.
Guests attending included: Council Members John Farrell and Frank Osborne; Planning Director Roy Lopata; Fred Siegel, Associate Provost (Admissions Office) and several Newark residents.
1. APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 16, 2002 MINUTES
There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, they were approved as received.
Mr. Athey stated that he made some pointed comments at the previous meeting related to the Board of Trustees and the fact that a Newark resident was not on the Board even though recent appointee Jim Neal lived within a few hundred yards of the City boundary. Since that time he has had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Neal on more than one occasion, and would like to be able to retract statements he has made in the past. He was very pleased to have Mr. Neal as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Town & Gown Committee.
Ms. Odell reminded Mr. Athey that the recent appointment to the Board of Trustees was a graduate of the University as well as a Newark resident.
2. REPORT ON UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS, 2002 FRED SIEGEL
Fred Siegel distributed data that compared the fall 2002 enrollment to the fall of 2001, which included students on the Newark campus, in the parallel program, and continuing education, and a graph that included the five-year overview of the University's enrollment.
The University's undergraduate enrollment was up by 77 students or 0.5%. For the first time, over 20,000 undergraduate applications for the freshmen class were received and 2,000 applications were received for transfers. The University's target was 3,350 freshmen and 3,420 were enrolled on the official 10th day of class. Overall, about 9,700 students were admitted versus 9,600 students last year. They were able to maintain the same yield (35.2%). There were 642 transfers and the University's target was 600 students (250 residents and 350 nonresidents).
In sum, the University's goal was 3,950 new freshmen and transfer students and they came in at 4,062 students. The total enrollment for 2002 was 21,289 which was 50 fewer students than what they had five years ago.
Mr. Siegel advised that 35% of the freshmen class was made up of Delawareans. However, the University admits approximately 87% of the Delaware residents who apply to either the Newark campus or to the parallel program. He claimed it was the University's policy that Delawareans come first. Enrollment targets for next year have been set at 3,300 freshmen (2,150 nonresidents and 1,150 residents).
Mr. Godwin questioned if there was a target number for undergraduates, and Mr. Siegel responded by saying that officially they did it by class year each year. He was sure there was a budget figure and generally was told to keep the figure under 16,000. He said it was difficult for him to influence retention rates. They were unpredictable, based on the economy, and based on better and better students who were more likely going to stay on campus. This year the freshmen and sophomore retention rate was about 90%, the highest in the University's history. He believed that was a testament to the great campus and community as well as better students. Mr. Godwin commented that the better students required less attention from the City as they tended to be more studious and serious about getting an education.
Mr. Neal thought that as the population of the Delaware students in high schools rises, then the ratio of instate students would have to rise unless the University raised the bar for instate students. Mr. Siegel said they would not raise the bar. The number of 18-year olds will go up about 700 between now and 2008. In Delaware about 45% of the students want to go to a four-year college which would reduce the 700 number to about 400 students. Half of those students will want to go to some other college.
Ms. Odell questioned if it is perceived that it is harder for Delawareans to get into the University because of the changed admissions application. Mr. Siegel answered that it was a contributing factor, and added that it is harder to get into college these days because the demographics are up and everybody is trying to keep the quality of the students up and hold the numbers down. He stressed that it is a real perception that it is harder to get in to the UofD, but not dramatically harder for Delawareans. They look carefully to ensure that the student is doing good work in his senior year, because a "C" student in his senior year does not predict great success in a freshman year at the University of Delaware. He said it would not be fair to recruit a student who looked like he or she would fail against the increasingly qualified nonresident population.
Mr. Siegel spoke briefly about the honors program. The total number of students in that program was 550, the largest class ever, but in meeting with the honors leadership, the administration is committed to bringing that number down to 490-500 students.
3. NEWARK POLICE REPORT CONWAY
Chief Conway reported that Part I crimes, such as rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, burglary, theft and auto theft were down by about 3%. Since the September meeting, there were 70 burglaries. Several homes were being hit in the Oaklands area and committed by the same three people. Thefts also increased during that time period. In many of those instances, students were victims of the crimes, especially with car break ins. Aggravated assaults and robberies were down this year. Recently two students were involved with an attempted robbery and arrests were made. Alcohol investigations increased 60% with a 26% increase in alcohol arrests. In the last two months there were 177 alcohol investigations. Drug investigations increased 24% with a 62% increase in drug arrests. Weapon investigations increased 30% with a 254% increase in arrests.
Chief Conway said that although they were keeping very busy, Newark was a safe town compared to other areas. Also, most of the victims of the more serious crimes were not students. He noted that since the last Town & Gown meeting, there were four reported rapes, one considered an acquaintance rape involving a student.
Chief Conway discussed briefly the police targeting Madison Drive because of several problems including home invasions, robberies, loud noise, etc. Last Thursday he held a community meeting at the fire house which resulted in plans to step up enforcement involving the police, building and public works departments. He noted that there were fewer students living in this neighborhood than previous years.
Chief Conway advised that the University applied their new GPS system in mapping with various locations where they made alcohol arrests, disorderly premises arrests, etc. Many arrests were in the Wollaston Avenue/Ivy Apartments area. The map also designated locations of liquor selling establishments and restaurants that served alcohol.
Mr. Athey asked if there have been any problems with the fraternity on Academy Street.
Chief Conway said they had one incident when school first opened where the old fraternity brothers came back and attempted to retake the house. Also, a few weeks ago they had an incident that resulted in two arrests. Overall, the situation has improved at the fraternity.
Ms. White asked what type of weapons were involved in the arrests and Chief Conway answered mostly guns and knives. In most cases the weapons were found during searches when they were looking for something else.
Mr. Anastasia asked the Chief to discuss problems occurring at College Square Shopping Center. Over the last couple of weeks, there were strong armed robberies with some incidents beginning as shoplifting. Once a shoplifter was caught by the store owner and then fights to get away, that becomes a robbery.
4. UNIVERSITY POLICE REPORT THORNTON
Mr. Thornton provided crime statistics from July 1, 2002 through October 31, 2002.
Part I crimes were down 37% from 216 to 136; no reported robberies on campus, no aggravated assaults; 21 reported burglaries compared to 25 last year; and thefts were down from 175 to 106 for the time period.
Part II offenses were down 15%; alcohol offenses were up 32% from 101 to 149 for the
same time period; alcohol arrests were up from 42 to 88; and alcohol student judicial referrals were also up 9% from 126 to 136. He believed the statistics showed that student offenses were remaining constant, but arrests were up significantly and involved a significant number of non-students who were arrested on campus for possession or underage consumption.
Mr. Thornton referred to cases that occurred early in the semester involving intrusions into the residence halls and was pleased to announce that they made arrests in all three cases. One case involved non©students entering Rodney Hall and stealing personal property. Another case involved an intrusion into a residence hall where the male who entered was filming a female in the shower. The intruder was identified and was facing 12 felonies. The third case involved a person entering a residence hall and going into an unlocked room and fondling a female student while she was sleeping. That person was identified and arrested and in Gander Hill awaiting trial. Mr. Thornton concluded by saying that they remain diligent with their residence life staff in trying to educate the students about not letting people tailgate behind them at the residence halls.
5. OLD BUSINESS
(a) Report re Town & Gown Web Site
Ms. Odell advised that Ms. Hempel was unable to attend the meeting. Ms. Odell reported that she and Mr. Luft met with Ms. Hempel after the last meeting to discuss the Town & Gown web site. Ms. Odell distributed a list of the key elements that will be included on the web site, which Mr. Luft said would be implemented. Ms. Hempel plans to enlist the help of student workers to implement the site. It was suggested that the minutes and agenda be included on the web site. Mr. Athey suggested that Board of Trustees meetings be included on the web site. Anyone with ideas for the web site should contact Ms. Odell.