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New resources set for livability fight

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Three new tools in the livability fight were discussed Monday night at the monthly meeting of the Community Relations Advisory Group.

Oregon State University has put together a three-pronged coalition to work on alcohol, drug and violence prevention, OSU’s fraternities announced plans for regular community cleanups and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s public safety division might start working with the Corvallis Police Department on alcohol enforcement issues.

CRAG, which consists of university, city and community members, is charged with working on noise, trash and party issues in the neighborhoods.

Here is a look at the three initiatives:

Rob Reff, OSU’s director of alcohol, drug and violence prevention, announced the formation of the OSU Prevention and Advocacy Coalition. The group has three main goals: alcohol and drug prevention; violence prevention and advocacy for survivors.

“We have the right people at the right table to bring things forward to the right administration. I think it’s exciting,” Reff said.

Subgroups charged with addressing the three goals already have begun meeting, with the first full coalition session set for March 28. The subgroups will include participation from students, the Benton County Health Department and the city.

The subgroups will make recommendations to the coalition’s “conveners,” vice provost Susie Brubaker-Cole and chief compliance officer Clay Simmons.

There is no timetable for the coalition to complete its work, Reff said.

“We’ll monitor the program as we go forward, but it’s hard to set an end date,” Reff said. “It will end if we successfully meet our milestones or it will end if we are not meeting the goals.”

Interfraternity Council President Alec Petersen discussed plans for community cleanups by volunteers from fraternities and sororities.

The group plans to fan out into the neighborhoods around the Greek houses and clean up trash on a cycle of about 1.5 times per month. The first cleanup is April 10, with the geographic range of the cleanup dependent on how many volunteers the IFC can assemble.

“Students don’t engage with the community much,” Petersen said, adding that “fraternities don’t always have the greatest public image. We want to do something about the trash students leave behind from parties.”

Petersen said the group plans to target their cleanups for events such as Halloween and the Civil War football game, when more people are in town.

Paul Rosenow of the OLCC discussed the agency’s involvement in party patrols and fake ID sting operations in Eugene, and indicated that similar efforts might be possible in Corvallis, depending on staffing and coordination issues.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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