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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Q & A with Crystal Morris


Crystal Morris has served as president of the Wynnefield Residents Association since June 2019, a nonprofit organization established in 1957 providing a variety of services from advocating for zoning ordinances to sponsoring community programs. Wynnefield, hosting a population of about 16,000 residents, includes part of St. Joe’s campus. The Hawk spoke with Morris to learn more about the relationship between St. Joe’s students and Wynnefield residents.

The Hawk: What is it like living in an area with a large student population?

Morris: I very much enjoy it. Because we are primarily a senior community, most of our residents are long term residents, so we are welcoming a lot of new families in. It’s a great opportunity to do intergenerational things. We have a lot to learn from one another, if we do it well, so I very much enjoy the engagement of the students. I have two of my own in that age bracket, so I know that students have a lot to offer, if you’re willing to stop and learn.

The Hawk: What have been your best and worst experiences living near students?

Morris: My best experience is the energy and the different way of thinking. Obviously, the worst experience would be students [who] like a nice party.

But I also understand that I have adult neighbors who often like a nice party as well. So a conversation is required regardless of the age of the neighbor and establishing community norms are necessary, no matter whom you’re addressing. We like to be on the forefront as people move in and we welcome them, just making it clear what those community norms are so that we can coexist in a way that’s respectful.

The Hawk: Has anyone in the Wynnefield Residents Association had any complaints about rowdy students?

Morris: Not anymore. I think that in the past it has been a problem. But I want to acknowledge that St. Joe’s has done a tremendous job in really addressing things as they come up, things that are within their control. So what I mean by that is that it is very much a development model for folks to buy up properties in neighborhoods that are close to universities, with the intention of renting out to students. Those properties are not under SJU’s purview; their students are, but the landlords aren’t. So we’ve had to work on both sides.

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Vincent Kornacki
Vincent Kornacki, News Editor
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