Town Gown Advisory Board proposals

This year, the Binghamton University Town Gown Advisory Board (TGAB) received nine proposals, two more than it received in its inaugural year last year. Listed below are the proposals received for the 2018-2019 academic year that will be evaluated by the TGAB Executive Committee:

1. TGAB Promoting and Cultivating Positive Community Engagement Subcommittee

North of Main (NoMa) Staffing of The Mansion ($25K)

The purpose of this proposal is to boost neighborhood development efforts in the North of Main (NoMa) neighborhood by building capacity at The Mansion, the neighborhood community center at 85 Walnut St. There is a need to increase resident participation and ownership of community programming at The Mansion, while building additional volunteer and service-learning opportunities for Binghamton University faculty, staff and students within NoMa. The subcommittee proposes that the Center for Civic Engagement hire a graduate assistant to be co-located at The Mansion to facilitate projects and help accomplish these goals. Additionally, funding will support a resident of NoMa to work approximately 15 hours per week (Aug. 2019−May 2020) alongside other staff/volunteers to cultivate interest and leadership and to organize participation from more residents in the neighborhood. The subcommittee is also requesting funding to support community/youth programs, special projects and community cafés at The Mansion.

2. TGAB Underage Drinking/Dangerous Drinking Subcommittee

Underage Drinking, Risk-Taking and Prevention Strategies in College Drinking Culture Study ($35.5K)

This two-stage program of research will use multiple methodologies to explore underage drinking and substance use, related disordered behaviors and risk-taking (including sexual risk-taking), and risk-prevention strategies of emerging adults from both Binghamton University and the local community during the 2019-2020 academic year. The researchers assisting the committee have records of publications related to these topics and have experience conducting research projects of similar size and nature. This study will be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Binghamton University for approval if the project is funded. Stage 1: A Survey of Underage Drinking, Risk-Taking and Prevention Strategies in College Drinking Culture. Stage 2: A Survey of Community Perceptions and Concerns Regarding College Drinking Culture.

3. TGAB Safety Subcommittee

IACLEA Safety Consultant ($30K)

This study will review the town-gown relationship between Binghamton University and the city of Binghamton to provide recommendations to University and city leadership for the purpose of making informed decisions on current and future initiatives. The study will include a review of current programs; present and future off-campus security issues; staffing assignments and scheduling; and budgetary expenditures including overtime, special details and major event management. The study will be conducted with an appreciation of the longstanding commitment to off-campus student safety and a recognition that Binghamton University and the city of Binghamton have a long, collaborative and productive relationship.

4. TGAB Transportation and Parking Subcommittee

Bike Share Extension ($60K over two years)

The Transportation Subcommittee of the Town Gown Advisory Board submits this grant proposal for one half of the cost of phase one of a bike-share program. In phase one, the subcommittee requests funding for four bike stations via Zagster that will serve Binghamton University students and city of Binghamton residents throughout the Westside, downtown and Northside. Stations would be located at 36 Leroy St., the University Downtown Center (UDC), the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center (GBTC) on Chenango Street, and at the 435 State St. grocery store on the Northside.

5. TGAB Transportation and Parking Subcommittee

Bus Stop Improvement Program ($65.6K)

The Transportation and Parking Subcommittee of the Town Gown Advisory Board is submitting this grant proposal for a Shared Bus Stop Improvement Program, asking for funding to provide bus shelters at four shared Broome County Transit (BC Transit) and Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) bus stops. The grant proposal includes funding for the shelters as well as the site work necessary to support the shelters and to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Site improvements will include concrete pads for the shelters, seating, shelter lighting and, when possible, the installation of bike racks adjacent to the bus stops. The purpose of the grant is to:

  • Improve the transit experience for new and existing users of the two systems.
  • Increase safety for transit users.
  • Increase the accessibility of bus stops for the elderly and mobility impaired riders.
  • Retain and increase bus ridership.
  • Improve the city streetscape.

6. TGAB Student Housing Subcommittee

Off-Campus Housing Online Portal ($25K)

The Student Housing Subcommittee has noted a need for a centralized source for information pertaining to off-campus housing. The proposal to develop this centralized, online portal that has been successful at other academic institutions has two components:

1. An online course highlighting the necessary information for living off campus (refuse collection protocol, local rules/laws pertaining to residents, etc.) and becoming a good neighbor and citizen of the community.

2. A listing of all properties/landlords in the City of Binghamton who have had a passing/compliant code inspection within the past year.

Part 1 - Online Portal

The proposal for the online portal is heavily modeled after the successful online portal that UC Boulder has implemented using the company Canvas LMS. The proposal is a request to hire Canvas LMS to create a similar online portal using the city of Binghamton’s specific rules and regulations, with input from both the city (code enforcement and executive) as well as the University (Off-Campus Programs and Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, etc.).

Part 2 - Online Landlord List of Yearly Inspected Properties

This is an important resource for students wishing to move/live off campus that will list only those landlords who have passed a code inspection conducted by the city of Binghamton in the last calendar year. As this is simply a list, there is no implication that Binghamton University or the city of Binghamton endorse these properties, but are only listing that they have had a passing inspection.

7. TGAB Underage Drinking/Dangerous Drinking Subcommittee

ID Scanners for bars ($19.5K)

In sum, the proposed study is an environmental effort to deter underage drinking. The main purpose of this project is to establish the feasibility of this approach relative to existing methods. Data collection will be in the form of focus groups and a brief survey to determine the attitudes/beliefs of bar owners/staff, along with identifying barriers and facilitators to the implementation of ID scanners. The proposed study will also assess three different scanners to determine if one is more effective than others. We anticipate that the scanners will also produce data (e.g., how many fake ID attempts over a six-month period compared to bar owners’ self-reports of the reduction of fake IDs). We expect findings from this mixed-methods study to provide support for the use of ID scanners in our local community. Lastly, our findings will be valuable for business owners, college administrators and public policymakers. Three potential ID scanners have been identified for the project: 1) Tokenworks, founded in 1992, offers highly durable products (standalone mobile scanner and passback detection with no monthly fees); 2) IDScan, which is used by IBM and Shell, focuses on a range of scanning-related needs, not just age verification (mobile standalone scanner with passback and blocklist features with a monthly fee). IDScan also scans barcodes and magnetic strips as well as optical characters; 3) PatronScan is the most advanced technology and is used in bars across the U.S. and Canada (mostly kiosk-based scanners with a mobile option and a monthly fee). The research team would randomly assign a scanner to each site and will assess whether scanners affect change and if one scanner performs better than another for our local community.

8. TGAB Underage Drinking/Dangerous Drinking Subcommittee

Overdose Response Training ($25K)

Truth Pharm is a local nonprofit, community-based organization and a New York State Certified Overdose Prevention Provider. As such, it is certified to train community members on the recognition and response to overdoses and it receives Narcan kits from the New York State Department of Health to provide to the persons they train. Truth Pharm is able to certify people as trainers and provides reporting to New York state on overdose responses by people trained by the program. Truth Pharm provides one-on-one training in the community as well as training for groups through a PowerPoint presentation that includes the Science of Addiction. New York state provides the Narcan kits, but does not fund the implementation of the program, funding for training or for Truth Pharm’s staff. This project partners individual students and student groups from Binghamton University and SUNY Broome with Truth Pharm to expand their overdose response training capacity on campus and in the community. Truth Pharm would provide a Train the Trainer program for students interested in participating. The project would pair the students with Truth Pharm Rainmakers (their volunteer workforce) to mentor the students in the delivery of the presentations, provide one-on-one training and track data. The student trainers will be able to respond to the immediate needs of students on either campus for training and Narcan kits. The students will also be offered opportunities to present for group training side-by-side with Rainmakers and will be certified to provide emergency training in the case of overdose surges. The group training and one-on-one training will be offered on campus and in the community to provide a wide range of experiences for the students as well as foster a relationship between the campuses and community in addressing the overdose crisis. Truth Pharm’s work in providing community education has also shown a great reduction in stigma which is important in improving outcomes.

9. TGAB Promoting and Cultivating Positive Community Engagement Subcommittee

LUMA Festival – student exhibit ($16.3K)

The Town Gown Advisory Board was established to promote positive relations between Binghamton University students and area residents. We believe that a critical part of building these kinds of relationships is creating the opportunity for these two groups to interact in non-traditional ways — on a creative endeavor, for instance. LUMA Projection Arts Festival creates the chance for area residents and student artists and volunteers to get to know each other more fully as people, creating better will on both sides and stronger bonds that will positively impact the many other interactions we have in daily life. LUMA has already drawn both students and residents as audience members, demonstrating a greater opportunity. We propose a multi-pronged approach to further involve Binghamton students in LUMA, showcasing their community contributions in an entirely positive way. Because LUMA is built on community volunteerism, the multiple points of interaction will each create an opportunity to build teams comprised of both students and community members. These sorts of teams, we know from personal experience, will build relationships that last long beyond the festival itself. The LUMA Student Engagement Project consists of the following elements:

  • A collaboration with student programmers/designers on a 2019 LUMA feature.
  • An opportunity for students to attend the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Projection Mapping Symposium to be held in advance of LUMA 2019.
  • Student production assistance in a core LUMA 2019 light installation project titled Phasing Rain.
  • Complimentary tickets for students to LUMA 2019’s flagship feature, distributed on campus.

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