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Office of Community Affairs records

 Collection
Identifier: A085

Scope and Content Note

These records document the activities of the Office of Community Affairs within Northeastern University and in surrounding communities. The records include correspondence, minutes, and other materials related to the Office of Community Affairs' administrative operations and relationship with Northeastern University. Also included are correspondence and other materials pertaining to Office of Community Affairs director Joseph D. Warren. Some of these items relate to his work in that capacity, and others reflect his personal involvement in community development and other projects in the Boston Area. These records also reflect the Office of Community Affair's involvement in the larger Boston community. Of note are the materials pertaining to the Office of Community Affairs and Northeastern University's administration of Camp Nor'Easter, Northeastern University Academy, and the Boston Housing Authority scholarship program. The Office of Community Affairs and Northeastern University's relationship with the Southwest Corridor Project is extensively documented through correspondence, minutes, development proposals, and planning reports. The collection also contains newsletters, correspondence, and flyers pertaining to various local community-based organizations.

Dates

  • 1967-1989 (bulk 1982-1989)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Files containing student information are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation. The Camp Nor'Easter files are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

The Northeastern University Office of Community Affairs was founded in 1976 by NU President Kenneth G. Ryder under the title Office of Community Development. Ryder appointed Gregory Ricks as the first director. The original mission was community outreach, and the Office of Community Development coordinated several initiatives, including annual food and toy drives. By 1982, the number of students living off campus had increased dramatically. Tension between Northeastern University and its neighbors was high. Several neighborhood organizations were dissatisfied with Northeastern University's response to their complaints about student behavior and filed law suits against the University. In an effort to stem the escalating tensions, Northeastern University Vice President John A. Curry reorganized the Office of Community Development in July, and it became the Office of Community Affairs. Professor of Afro-American Studies Joseph D. Warren was appointed as its director. The primary directive of the newly-restructured Office of Community Affairs was to respond to the concerns of Northeastern University's neighbors, curtailing loitering and moderating the behavior of students living in off-campus apartments. Additionally, the office expanded the community outreach initiatives that began under the Office of Community Development. The Office of Community Affairs, which became the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs in 1991, ran and continues to run a free transportation program for Northeastern University's elderly neighbors, and each spring, it continues to coordinate an annual flower drive in conjunction with the Fenway Civic Association, during which hundreds of annuals that are donated by Northeastern University are planted throughout the neighborhood. The Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs administers a program that permits free use of Northeastern University facilities for local non-profit organizations; administers Northeastern University Academy and Camp Nor'Easter, two programs designed to enrich Boston youth, and co-administers a scholarship program for Boston Housing Authority residents. In addition to managing Northeastern University's relationship with its neighbors, the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs is active in community development. Several members of the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs staff served in an advisory capacity on the Southwest Corridor Project, with which Northeastern University was involved, in the 1970s and 1980s. The Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs coordinates Northeastern University's participation in the city-wide Youth Advisory Council, a collaboration between Northeastern University, the Boston Bar Association and the City of Boston which advises Boston's mayor on youth issues. It also coordinates an annual Northeastern University Service Day in which students, faculty and staff volunteer to help clean up the neighborhood, and provides 30,000 square feet of rent-free office space to the Whittier Street Health Center, which is located in Renaissance Park. Additionally, the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs provides 30 full scholarships for community children to attend a two-week overnight camp in partnership with Agassiz Village in Poland, Maine, as well as yearly scholarships for community residents with disabilities to attend Camp ECHO. The Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs also offers free tickets to Northeastern University sporting events for community youth organizations. In March of 2002, the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs came under the leadership of Robert Gittens, Northeastern University's vice president for public affairs. In the winter of 2002, the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs began to publish a yearly newsletter, UrbanPartners, which details Northeastern University's community involvement over the previous year.

Chronology

  • 1976 Office of Community Development is founded
  • 1982 Name changes to Office of Community Affairs
  • 1991 Name changes to Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs
1976
Office of Community Development is founded
1982
Name changes to Office of Community Affairs
1991
Name changes to Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs

Extent

7 cubic feet (8 containers)

Overview

In 1982, Vice President John A. Curry reorganized the existing Office of Community Development into the Office of Community Affairs. Placed under the direction of Joseph D. Warren, the Office of Community Affairs' primary mission was to respond to the concerns of Northeastern University's neighbors. Additionally, the office administered several community outreach programs, such as the annual Thanksgiving food and Christmas toy drives and a scholarship program for Boston Housing Authority residents.

Overview

These records document the activities of the Northeastern University Office of Community Affairs under its first director, Joseph D. Warren. Particularly well documented is the office's interaction with local community leaders, community-based organizations, and the Southwest Corridor Project in the 1980s. Also included is correspondence relating to the office's response to the concerns of Northeastern's neighbors about student behavior.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into 2 series: 1. Administration; and 2. Community Involvement.

Physical Location

32/2-3, 33/2

Related Materials:

Bibliography

  • Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years. (Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 1995)
  • Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs [http://www.grca.neu.edu/]
Title
Finding aid for the Office of Community Affairs Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Parr and Jeanine Rees; updated by George Peckham-Rooney and Hanna Clutterbuck
Date
May 2005, October 2007
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US