Nia Doaks | Managing Editor

Student leaders and Hillsborough street developers are merging with one another to create a committee of students who will help plan the historic street’s future this year and beyond.

“The goal of forming this committee is to give students a chance to give their input on [decisions] involving the street,” said Senior Class President Molly Basdeo. “I’m sure you’ve heard people say ‘I wish Hillsborough Street was this or that’. This really gives students the chance to have a voice.”

During the summer, student leaders from various organizations were invited to attend the first of many meetings for the Hillsborough Street Committee.

In attendance were Molly Basdeo, IRC President Chris Becker, and Senior Class Council representative Chris Becton.

During the first meeting, the group discussed general goals, a timeline of what they wanted to see happen, and tentative dates for the next meeting.

The discussion for the formation of this committee began after a meeting with the Executive Director of the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation, Jeff Murison who works with the Hillsborough Street Board.

The board is made up of a range of stakeholders, including those in city government, merchants, residents, and other various groups. The Hillsborough Street Board is separate from the student committee that is being formed.

“The Board is responsible for a range of things that are to make Hillsborough a more vibrant, economically sustainable and attractive business destination,” said Jeff Murison. ”This includes cleaning sidewalks, improving the presence of security, and doing event promotions to create foot traffic.”

The board currently has 13 members and seven additional non-voting members. One seat on the board is designated for a student government leader from either N.C. State or Meredith College.

Last year, Rachel Dame, an N.C. State student and former Senior Class President, sat on the board, she provided the sole student perspective on issues.

“Rachel had a really good relationship with the board,” said Basdeo. “They wanted more representation and input from students, so that’s what we’re working on. The hope is that the next student representative that sits on the board will also be a member of the student committee.”

The relationship between the student organization and the board will serve as a two-way communication channel—it will allow students to have an understanding of what is happening with the street, and it will allow board members to hear student’s perspectives on possible changes and improvements.

“We want to build a very fluid communications environment where we’re partners and people feel like they have a vested stake in the future of the community,” said Murison.  “Adding a student perspective was a deliberate effort by the board to ensure that students have a voice as we move forward.”

Last year, the board discussed issues in terms of spending, renovation, and attracting customers.

In 2009 and 2010, the board discussed spending in order to renovate sections of the street. The ultimate goal is to have a diverse group of students with a variety of thoughts and opinions on what can be changed or improved with Hillsborough Street.

“This is still really early in the planning stages for us,” said Basdeo. “We hope to increase attendance at our next meeting, which will be scheduled for the third week in September.”

For more information on how to get involved with the committee, contact Molly Basdeo at



Correction: A previous version of the article falsely stated that the student committee meetings are to be held the third Thursday of each month.