Loyola seniors’ Freret Street cleaning initiative improves neighborhood relations
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 13:05
James McBride and Kyle Vogt, both seniors at Loyola University New Orleans, will hand the reigns of Freret Street Initiative over to rising junior Allen Hall in the hopes of improving the image of Freret Street and the college students who walk it.
McBride and Vogt decided one Saturday morning that cleaning up Freret Street is a great way to beautify the streets and clean up the community.
What most people don’t know is the organization was started in an effort to clean up a bigger problem: the negative image that local residents have of college students.
Samuel Senter, political science junior, says Freret Street Initiative was started in Fall 2011 because of the way students acted while walking from campus to Friar Tuck’s Bar & Grill, which has since closed down. Students would begin drinking in their dorm rooms and off-campus houses, called pregaming, and walk approximately a half-mile to party. At the end of the night, solo cups, empty beer bottles and cigarette boxes lined Freret, including the front of Lusher Charter School, which has students as young as 10 years old.
Some Loyola students understand the negative perception they have earned by those living in the campus’ surrounding area.
“The college mentality can often have a negative impact on the community, so the Freret Street initiative gave the surrounding neighbors a view of students that is less destructive, ” Senter said.
Eric Knoepfler, journalism junior and assistant news editor at the Maroon, said it was a simple, easy decision for him to get involved. “Freret Street Initiative is an organization started by people who truly enjoy doing what they can to help out. We saw a need for that in our community, and we did what we could to help,” he said.
McBride is a founding member of Freret Street Initiative and said hat the organization promotes “students taking responsibility for the neighborhood they live in and the repercussions of their actions in that neighborhood.” This program’s proud papa can only marvel at the continued efforts of students going above and beyond what the program intended. McBride visualized the cleaning of Freret between Calhoun and Dufossat Streets, but thought the organization would die out as Tuck’s did.
McBride has completed his final Freret Street initiative as a Loyola student, but other students can participate in the first event next year on Sunday, September 9th.
Jerry Reese can be reached at email@example.com