Community Relations Coalition
Meet with an intern at their new community space located within Campus Town Mall.
The Community Relations Coalition represents Michigan State University and the City of East Lansing, the city's neighborhoods, and long and short-term residents of the community, including students. The Board of Directors includes students living both on and off-campus, representatives of the city housing and police departments, and the city manager's office. The CRC also includes representation from the MSU administration’s offices, as well as student affairs and student life departments, and the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.
Each year, ten MSU undergraduates are hired as CRC Interns to represent the CRC as ambassadors to permanent residents and students. These interns must live off-campus so that they may work where they live and become familiar with the issues in their community. They plan outreach events, such as ice cream socials and neighborhood clean-ups, that bring permanent residents and students together to create communication and collaboration between them.
Neighborhood partners, each paired with a CRC intern, are also a key component to the organization of the CRC. Neighborhood partners are permanent residents who know the history of their neighborhood and can be a strong resource for the CRC interns. More importantly, neighborhood partners support interns during their community experience.
The Community Relations Coalition (CRC) works to build trusting relationships between the communities of East Lansing and Michigan State University by fostering cooperation and communication between neighbors. A not-for-profit organization, the CRC draws on the talents of all sectors of East Lansing through various program initiatives. The CRC motto, “We All Live Here,” reinforces the organization’s goal of helping citizens recognize and appreciate the responsibilities and assets we all share as residents of East Lansing.
Recommendation 5 from the Final Report of the Michigan State University (MSU) Alcohol Action Team (November, 1998) called for the creation of a community relations coalition to improve relations between MSU and East Lansing communities. The recommendation also called for the improvement of communication between MSU administration, MSU students, and the City of East Lansing. In the fall of 1999, the Community Relations Coalition (CRC) was formed to create a more integrated residential community in East Lansing – one that is mutually beneficially to both students and longer-term residents. The CRC serves as a forum for addressing issues important to all community members, and for building relationships between the communities of MSU and East Lansing. The CRC aims to function as the problem-solving, relationship building, and information sharing link that encourages all segments of the greater East Lansing-MSU community to address differences constructively before they escalate.