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GRAND FORKS YOUTH COMMISSION
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - - 11:30 a.m. - - A101
Minutes

Youth Commission (schools represented):
Schroeder, South, Twining, Valley, Central, Community, Red River

Activities Form
The group reviewed the activities form that will be used within each school for Youth Commission/YORS related items. A form should be completed for each activity to take place and brought to the building principal for discussion and approval. Use of this form will improve communication with administration and also provide a means of tracking the activities that are completed by youth. Copies of the signed approval form should be given to Karen Axvig and to the Mayor’s Office.

City Council Report.
Pete Haga thanked those that came to the City Council meeting to provide a report on activities of the group to the City Council and commented that they did a very good job with their report.

Driving and Parking Concerns.
Heidi Olson of Safe Kids and GF Police Department discussed concerns with the youth.
Central Parking – there is not enough. Officer reported that school administration is aware of the issues and are working on potential ways to ease the problem, which will get worse with the loss of the Civic Auditorium lot once construction starts on that lot later this year. He explained that they are looking at a number of options including possibly getting the entire parking ramp and noted that they have been able to get some of the two hour parking removed on the building side of the streets for on street parking.

Students not looking when they walk across the street/in the parking lots, driving unsafely in parking lots, and texting while driving are other concerns. Officer stated that they do try to be out monitoring for those types of activities before and after school, but encouraged students to report unsafe circumstances to their school resource officer and if there are particular problem individuals and they will bring in the individuals and visit with them to try and resolve the issue.

Olson discussed with the group concerns that Safe Kids has with driving around all school zones and the need for student drivers and all drivers to be more aware of the tendency of elementary school age youth to dart into traffic. She asked for suggestions on the best ways to bring this issue to young drivers. Students suggested that 9th grade health class and 8th grade life skills class would hit youth just as they are starting to work on getting their licenses and also during drivers training sessions.

Community parking lot also has a lot of near misses and a lot of students that don’t follow the prescribed path around the lot to exit. Discussion was that lot is poorly designed and perhaps too small to accommodate the number of students that are there at any one time. Officer advised youth to make the Principal aware of the near misses and continue to report issues so that administration can keep working to find a solution.

Texting while driving is a cause of many accidents with all drivers, not just teens. Some expressed that it would be hard to report someone as you might not be able to prove that they were texting. Officer responded that they have other citations that can be issued and are ways to prove whether the phone was in use and encouraged youth to report unsafe drivers.

UND Survey Update.
Kami and Cooper from UND stated that they are still working on grants to find funding for the program and asked for an update on where the youth were with conducting their surveys. She also shared a potential site for the first activity night could be the Hyslop which charges $50 per hour and shared some of the various things that the building offered. There would be a waiver form required and they have a faculty member that is an attorney that would be willing to assist with drafting documents to assist the program and address legal concerns. She stated that UND would be able to assist with printing the survey form if the youth decided to do a paper survey.

Each school provided an update on their activities, with most being at the stage of getting permission and working out details for how to conduct the survey within their building. The group set a goal of having the surveys completed and to Kami prior to the next meeting so that the results could be discussed at the meeting. The importance of being able to know what youth want was stressed to the group as that is the first step in being able to locate an appropriate location, determine funds needed, equipment, etc. so that the event can be held in the fall.

Kami provided her email address so that students could contact her when they have surveys ready for her to pick up and tally. Students were reminded to make sure that they have a signed permission slip prior to conducting any survey activity in their school.

Wellness Center Survey.
Abby explained that she had created the Facebook site and added most of the information, but has not gotten a lot of feedback from commissioners. The Park District is still interested in feedback from the youth to include in their planning process so we need to work hard on getting this done before school is done for the year. Twining has done an interest survey for air base students. Students discussed that for most schools a paper survey would work better to conduct than an electronic one but is an issue is who would tally those results. Students will try to promote the computerized survey and encourage students at their school to promote it. This activity will require an activity form be completed and this should be done as soon as possible. Abby will have the survey created by April 26 and will need feedback before then. Goal is to promote students taking the survey the first week in May.

Bug and a Wish Items from YORS Groups

Central – 1) Parking. Has already been discussed. 2) Roughhousing in the halls and bullying. Need to remind students that the counselors are there to help with bullying issues and utilize them if you are having difficulties.

Twining – Racism is a problem and maybe having more character education discussion about this would help. Bullying is also a concern. Possibly teach more self confidence and self worth would help students cope and realize that the things bullies say shouldn’t matter to them.

Axvig encouraged students to try and get a YORS area at each of their schools to provide information on their activities and as a way to get more feedback from students in their schools. Some schools have done this in the counselor area. Make sure to obtain permission from those in the area that you would like to use and from your principal.

Haga stated that he would like to talk next month about who would be staying on for next year and who would be moving up to a new school and also to discuss summer activities and whether there should be meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00.

Respectfully submitted,

Sherie Lundmark
Admin Spec Sr.