Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Series:



Printable Finding Aid

Search All Finding Aids

Archival Collections

Manuscript Collections
Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids
Collection
Title: Office of Community Affairs records
Dates:1967-1989 (bulk 1982-1989)
Call Number:A85

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