To: NJIT Faculty, Staff and Students
From: Robert A. Altenkirch
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Subject: Student Life and Neighborhood Redevelopment
Greek Life organizations have been an integral part of campus life at NJIT for over seventy years. These organizations provide out-of-class learning opportunities, an important element of the college experience, through providing leadership opportunities and campus and community involvement. Our 25 fraternities and sororities join 70 student clubs and organizations, including cultural clubs, honor societies, professional society chapters, athletics, the Vector, and ROTC, among others, to comprise a comprehensive student life program. As part of an overall effort to grow participation in Greek Life, and campus life in general, and provide attractive living arrangements to allow expansion of the Greek Life organizations, consideration is being given to the development of a Greek Village, i.e., new, private, clustered housing for Greek Life organizations (see http://www.njit.edu/v2/activities/greekvillage.html).
The Greek Village concept is being coupled with a potential redevelopment of the area along and in the vicinity of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. from approximately the northern edge of the NJIT campus to Orange St. as described in the concept plan that can be viewed on the above web site. We have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Newark giving NJIT exclusive right to plan the redevelopment of the area mentioned, the first step of an ongoing process. We will be working with those Greek Life organizations that have shown interest in relocating from the redevelopment area to a Greek Village as well as representatives from St. Michael’s Hospital and the James Street Association to begin to develop the redevelopment plan.
Enhancing campus life and the neighborhood around NJIT are important to the growth of NJIT as an urban university. The concept plan is an exciting one, provides opportunity to strengthen our Greek Life organizations, and gives NJIT the opportunity to provide some leadership in the redevelopment of our neighborhood, much in the same fashion as was done around and by the University of Pennsylvania, for the enjoyment of the neighborhood property owners and residents as well as the NJIT campus community.
We will keep you informed as the project continues to develop.