By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Officials from Florida Atlantic University want to work more collaboratively with the city of Boca Raton.
And they want to use an existing program “International Town and Gown Association” to do so.
“We have had numerous conversations about our desire to do this,” said Dr. Corey King, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at FAU.
King said FAU and the city are a part of the association. Now, the school would like to enter into a formal Town and Gown partnership with the city.
With two FAU alum on the council, support for a formal Town and Gown relationship is strong.
“I would champion this,” councilwoman and FAU graduate Andrea O’Rourke said. “I would be happy to be a liaison. This relationship, I think, is crucial between the university and the city. It would be advantageous to our city to keep this relationship as strong and as visible as possible.”
The university and city already work closely together. Students and faculty receive discounts at the municipal golf courses, volunteer on city boards and local Boca sports teams use FAU fields.
FAU holds concerts at Mizner Park, it provides public access to its on-campus Living Room Theater and holds public events at Ritter Gallery.
King said these partnerships are just “the tip of the iceberg” and outlined future topics for the city and school to work on together. Ideas include finding ways to keep graduates in the city through employment opportunities, identifying ways to help with student housing and transportation options.
The next step would be coming up with a joint committee of staff members from the city and school to meet regularly. The group would focus on topics like neighborhood development, community relations, housing, economic development, cultural events, volunteer programs.
“I think support is 100 percent up here,” Councilman Jeremy Rodgers said.
Councilman Woman Monica Mayotte agreed.
“This is a great opportunity,” she said. “We can come up with some great ideas for the city and FAU. FAU is a great asset to our city. I look forward to an ongoing relationship.”