South Orange is undergoing the process of becoming a college town, according to the Student Government Association.
SGA Village Relations Chairman Ravi Shah, a sophomore political science and philosophy major, said his personal goal is to make South Orange a more enjoyable town for college students.
Shah’s plan includes improving student life outside of campus, specifically Irvington Avenue. Shah said he hopes to accomplish this goal by extending SHUFLY services as well as improving the variety of businesses in Seton Village.
Shah said he chose Seton Village, where Irvington Avenue is, because that part of South Orange is physically close to SHU and provides businesses, such as dining options, to students.
Irvington Avenue has “great potential to create an environment that SHU students can enjoy,” Shah said.
“The purpose behind possibly extending the SHUFLY route to Seton Village is so that students
feel safer and can easily access the businesses there,” Shah added.
Deja Johnson, a sophomore social work major, said she would like to see plans to expand Seton Hall transportation routes and a wider variety of restaurants added in South Orange.
“My goals for the upcoming year are to extend SHUFLY services, extend the list of businesses that take Pirate’s Gold and offer student discounts, and to inform students about the opportunities that are already available to them in South Orange,” Shah said.
The SGA Village Relations Committee, “Represents student interest in the community and further develops the student body’s relationship with the Village of South Orange,” according to the SHU website.
Shah said that he has been working closely with the Seton Village Committee to work on ideas that will benefit students and residents of South Orange.
The Seton Village Committee is a committee of South Orange Village.
According to the Seton Village’s website its mission is, “to create a thriving Irvington Avenue which attracts patrons, residents and the Seton Hall University community with diverse shops and restaurants, and a safe, attractive and vibrant neighborhood.”
New Jersey cities such as Hoboken, New Brunswick and Princeton have a different atmosphere than South Orange, Shah said. He added that these other towns are good examples of places that serve families and college students’ needs.
Shah said these other towns offer a variety of dining options, such as bars and entertainment, to
University students and residents. These towns offer movie theaters, food trucks, bars, and various restaurants and cafes, Shah said. “Not all these options are available in South Orange. However, I believe if they were then they would benefit the community as a whole,” Shah said.
Johnson said that she would like there to be more diversity of restaurants, including places that serve Caribbean food and restaurant chains like Panera Bread.
“I believe that students should have more opportunities made available to them in South Orange to enhance their college experience,” Shah said.
Shah added that Seton Hall could also give back to South Orange by doing community service.
Shah said his goal is not for South Orange to specifically serve or cater to students because that is unfair to the residents in South Orange.
Samantha Todd can be reached at email@example.com.