“Greet everyone you meet with Respect and a smile” This was a phrase one of the Respect Orange board members heard as a boy and it has stuck with him.
The Respect Orange organization really started from what we were personally experiencing with our neighbors and what we witnessed at a few city council meetings. It was amazing all of the emotion and passion we were seeing and it was also a little frightening. It really needed to be channeled in a positive and constructive manner.
One of the reasons Respect Orange was started and given the name it has was to bring all sides together. We are really trying to create an organization that does not create an “us vs them” mentality, no matter the issue, but one that brings people together over commonalities, such as our wonderful city, to foster communication. This is one of the reasons why we have started selling Respect Orange Gear. Similar to how someone identifies with a stranger who is wearing a favorite sports team jersey, we believe the Respect Orange shirts, stickers, and tote bags can accomplish the same thing and strike up conversation between residents and CU students.
Respect Orange wants to bring action in a positive manner where both the homeowners and the Chapman University community could get behind and show support. While making relationships better with residents and the CU community, this is not the only issue we have taken up in our city. There will be more details on these at a later date.
As we have sat down with students, city officials, elected officials, CU employees, residents, etc we are doing a lot of listening and learning more each day. The “student” issues in the residential family areas that pop up are byproducts or symptoms of circumstances and decisions that were made prior to today. Whether through the decisions (or lack thereof) by City Officials or by Chapman, we think taking a solutions based approach works a lot better than pointing fingers. Inaction and finger pointing does not accomplish much and this is one of the many reasons why we wanted to tackle this issue from a macro level and create an organization that everyone can get behind to show their support for their city: Residents, CU students, business owners, CU alumni, etc.
We would welcome any suggestions on how we can make our city great, increase the morale, and bring mutual respect to our community.