It is no secret that the town of Mansfield and the students and faculty at the University of Connecticut are often at odds on certain issues. However, the Mansfield Town Council will soon be discussing issues that are important to both residents of Mansfield and those affiliated with UConn. These issues include issues with Storrs Center, that have risen in infamy as of late, as well as discussions on the Community Development Block Grant and traffic issues within the town of Mansfield.
Some of these issues may vary in importance to UConn students. However, they are all valuable to the town of Mansfield, and thus to UConn, for a variety of reasons. For example, the Community Development Block Grant is designed to allow discussions of community and housing improvement needs throughout the town. For students who live on campus and do not often venture outside the realm of Storrs, this program may seem fairly inconsequential. However, for those that live off campus and are residents of Mansfield, this grant means the possibility for both personal home improvements and improvements benefiting the entire Mansfield community. As a beneficial program for Mansfield, it is important that students are aware of these improvement opportunities located right outside our backdoor.
Town council members also discussed the need for improvements to the roads and traffic patterns around Mansfield, citing issues specific to the area surrounding the Eastbrook Mall and the stoplights in Storrs Center. As students who have driven around the Mansfield area most likely know, the area surrounding the Eastbrook Mall can be treacherous to drive as there are many lane changes and stoplights involved. Additionally, as those who have driven through Storrs Center at night, the traffic lights are unreliable and can often leave you waiting to turn for lengthy periods of time before finally turning green. These issues are not solely Mansfield-specific and they are not solely UConn-specific. As UConn students share the roads with Mansfield residents, it is imperative that both parties be informed of these talks and the potential positive changes that could come out of them.
Lastly, the council decided to add the issues that have arisen in Storrs Center to an agenda for a future meeting, in order to fully expand on the issue. Storrs Center is an extremely loaded topic, with the parking issues, housing prices and business difficulties covering just a fraction of the topics that need to be discussed on the matter. These issues in Storrs Center affect both UConn students and Mansfield residents, and thus is an important topic to be discussed in order for both parties to be equally educated on the issues.
While UConn and Mansfield often seem to be at odds, the issues recently discussed by the Mansfield Town Council are important to both parties. In order to maintain good relations with our host town, it is important for the students of UConn to be informed on these issues and understand these positive, beneficial talks that the town of Mansfield is having.