The City of Turlock and its resident college have long had an indifferent, if not antagonistic relationship.
That spotted history could become just that – history – following the adoption of new agreement between California State University, Stanislaus and the City of Turlock on Tuesday night.
Both agencies will join the International Town-Gown Association, an agency intended to promote and facilitate relationships between colleges and cities.
“This is a statement,” CSU Stanislaus President Joseph Sheley said.
Turlock isn’t a college town, Sheley admitted. This agreement isn’t likely to lead to Turlock joining the ranks of Davis, Chico, or San Luis Obispo.
But if the university and the City of Turlock respect one another and work together, a partnership can lead to many opportunities for mutual advancement, Sheley said.
“We’re a university that’s part of a community,” Sheley said. “We’re not just a university that coincidentally inhabits land within community boundaries.”
Sheley noted that the college and the city have already begun working together more closely.
Sheley and Mayor John Lazar both took the field before a March 5 exhibition game for Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes at Warrior Stadium, jointly overseeing the opening coin flip. And the Quakes’ new developmental team, sited in Turlock, is only possible through a partnership between the city and university.
At the suggestion of Councilman Steven Nascimento, a standing committee will likely be established in the coming weeks with representatives from both Turlock and the university. That committee should lead to further interaction and collaboration between the two agencies.
Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden read from the Town-Gown Association’s mission statement, explaining the group looks to assist leaders, encourage collaboration on services, programs, research, and citizen issues, and to create an improved quality of life for all people, be they citizens, students or staff.
“That’s exactly President Sheley’s vision,” Wasden said. “To build that great relationship with our community.”