Student psychology project partners with CommUnity Zone

Jasmine Minhas, Contributing Writer

Subheadline: Introducing a survey to improve downtown Lewisburg


Does Market Street seem noisy, polluted, and dangerous? This year, many Lewisburg residents have taken to the CommUnity Zone to complain about downtown traffic and how it is negatively impacting the downtown experience. The CommUnity Zone is a local non-profit located on Market Street that focuses on organization and individual empowerment, as well as community outreach. It is a space for citizens to voice their concerns and come together to brainstorm solutions.


As a result of the complaints and the increased traffic of tractor trailers, the CommUnity Zone proposed to the Lewisburg Borough that a solution is implemented. This request resulted in the allocation of $70,000, which will be used to fund an engineering study which will be conducted during this semester.


As a part of their community psychology class, a group of University students has taken it upon themselves to inform the community of this project, spread awareness, and continue to raise funds to implement the suggested solutions once the engineering study is completed. The students involved are Donna Calia ’19, Haley Casper ’21, Abby Merriman ’20, Joey Schiele ’21, and Paige Schoelkopf ’20. They are under the direction of Professor of Psychology Bill Flack and CommUnity Zone co-founder Cynthia Peltier.


Schiele further explained their objective, saying “we strive to bring back the beauty on Market Street. The safety and well-being of our community is our priority and we are working hard to achieve these goals. The support we have from community members just reveals the strong passion for these efforts.”


The five students are especially interested in this issue because of how frequently students visit downtown. “While Bucknell students are here during the school year, and they make use of Market Street for extracurricular activities, it is imperative that the Lewisburg community members’ voices are heard as well. They are here year-round and deserve to enjoy a safe town which brings people together and keeps local businesses running,” Schoelkopf said.


These students are conducting a survey to bolster support and help inform the community about this issue, in accordance with the new Campus Action plan that aims for University students, faculty, and staff will become more involved. The survey itself is short, taking about five to 10 minutes to complete, and provides an option for individuals to receive monthly newsletters with updates on the progress of the study and project.


As members of the larger Lewisburg community, students of the University generally care about how the town is treated because it affects them just as much as it affects permanent residents. “All users of Market Street, whether they be students, community members, or businesses, deserve to feel safe and protected while enjoying the beautiful town of Lewisburg, and this project and survey can help to make a change for the better,” Merriman said.


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