San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

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Achieving Community Together (ACT), a town-gown partnership in San Marcos, has been selected as this year’s Association of College Unions International “Collaborative Program of the Year.”

Michelle Lopez, associate director of Texas State's LBJ Student Center, and San Marcos assistant police chief Chase Stapp accept an award on behalf of the city and the university for their joint Achieving Community Together initiative. The presentation was made at the Association of College Unions International's annual conference in Boston last month. COURTESY PHOTO

Achieving Community Together is a joint effort of Texas State University and the City of San Marcos to promote positive relations between permanent and student residents.

“Regular communication, effective problem-solving and on-going assessment are the distinguishing features of this group endeavor,” said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. “We are very proud of ACT’s measureable results to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods and community at large.”

ACT was created in 2008 from a problem-solving plan to reduce noise in neighborhoods, particularly noise from loud parties and disturbances late at night.

The project was led by representatives from the San Marcos Police Department and from the Vice President for Student Affairs Office and the LBJ Student Center at Texas State University.  It has expanded to include representatives from Associated Student Government, Attorney for Students, Austin Apartment Association, Code Enforcement/Neighborhood Services, Community Relations, Council of Neighborhood Associations, Dean of Students, Hays County Dispute Resolution Center, Housing and Residential Life, Texas State University Police Department and local property owners and managers.

“ACT is beginning to really change the culture of our town-gown relationships and is one of the driving forces in helping our students succeed both on and off campus. We feel our partnership is benefitting both permanent and student residents in San Marcos,” said Dr. Joanne Smith, the university’s vice president for Student Affairs.

ACT has previously been recognized in 2009 with the Texas Municipal League “Municipal Excellence Award in Management Innovations” and San Marcos Police Department Distinguished Service Award.  In 2011, ACT was named an international finalist for the “Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing”.

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