When you’re a member of the Dal community, you’re also a member of a bigger community. Whether you’re in Halifax or Truro, you’re part of the local neighbourhood and it’s important that you make the most of it. Neighbours look after each other, and it’s no different if you only plan on being a part of the local community for the years you’re at Dal. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in the community and be an awesome neighbour. And, surprise, surprise, it’s all about treating people the way you’d want to be treated.
1. Get to know the people living around you
It’s really important to have a good relationship with your neighbours. You don’t have to be best friends with them, just introduce yourself! If you live off campus, find out a little more about neighbours—do they have children or grandchildren, do they work shift-work, are they students, are they Dal alumni? Say hi when you see them. Offer to help rake their leaves in the fall. Help them shovel their snow in the winter. Respect everyone’s space and their property.
2. Don’t be a slob
This should be a given: don’t litter. It’s bad for the environment, it makes the neighbourhood (or your residence) look bad, and it’s lazy.
If you’re living off campus, you need to be aware of Nova Scotia’s rules for garbage, compost, and recycling. You also need to know what days they’re picked up at the curb. In Halifax, garbage and compost (green bin) go out bi-weekly on alternating weeks, while paper and recyclables go out every week. In Truro, garbage and compost go out together bi-weekly, while paper and recyclables go out on the alternating weeks. Confused? Thankfully, there’s a super easy way to keep track of when you can put your stuff on the curb, and what goes where. Download the app for Halifax, or for Truro, to search what goes where and receive weekly notifications about garbage/compost day.
3. Keep the noise down
Whether you live in residence or off campus, this is super important—especially when you’re walking through the neighbourhoods around campus late at night. People living the neighbourhood value their sleep just as much as you—maybe even more. They could have young kids who wake easily, they could be doctors who just came off a long shift in the ER, they could even be your own profs! If you’re heading downtown or making your way back home late at night, show a little respect and keep the volume down. (If you don’t, it can cost you a lot of money—see Tip #6 below.)
4. Respect other people’s property
If it doesn’t belong to you, it doesn’t belong to you. Just because you think someone’s front porch swing would look better on your deck doesn’t mean you can go ahead and take it. A neighbour’s garden is particularly colourful? Admire it and move on—don’t even think about picking a bouquet. A 10-year-0ld kid down the street has an amazing scooter laying on the sidewalk? Leave it alone—better yet, be a good neighbour and move it to the side of their house so someone not as respectful as you doesn’t come along and take it for a long ride.
4. You can party, but do it responsibly
If you’re hosting a party or event, give your neighbours a friendly heads up about when it’s going to happen and how big you think it’ll be. Letting them know you’re having a party is crucial so you can work together to ensure it doesn’t ruin your relationship or cause your neighbours unnecessary stress. If you show them some respect, they’ll be less likely to get on your case every time you make a noise. You definitely don’t want your neighbours to have a hate on for you.
6. Noise and alcohol fines are super expensive
In Nova Scotia, fines for unreasonably disrupting your neighbourhood (noise) start at $467.50 per person and go up from there if the police have to return for noise again. Noise bylaws are in effect 24/7 and everyone who’s listed on your lease will be fined. Underage drinking and open alcohol fines are also $467.50. Public intoxication get you a $134.00 fine and a stay in the drunk tank (which is not a very pleasant place to spend a night).