The Gamecock Village apartment complex hosted a blood drive for the Jacksonville community on November 3, using LifeSouth as a means of doing it. Each resident received a $10 rent credit for participating, and was entered to win a $50 gift card.
Participants who brought guests with them, received an additional entry per guest to win the gift card. Free T-shirts were also given to everyone who donated.
Aron Taylor, the General Manager of Gamecock Village, is enthusiastic about what the blood drive will do not only for people that will need the blood, but also for the image of Gamecock Village.
The apartments, now known as Gamecock Village, have received a bad reputation over the years because the company that used to own the property had different rules for its residents.
“The company that owned the property before us had different management values because the brand name of the company was ‘it’s college, go party, have a good time.’ We’re more interested in educational values, and we want you to take advantage of the opportunity that’s been afforded to you. We do know that it’s college and we want you to have a good time, but we also want you to be responsible and remember what you’re here for,” Taylor said.
Ever since Best Company Onward Management (BCOM) took over the property two years ago, the staff has been very busy. “Ever since BCOM took over we’ve had to do a lot of cleaning up. We’ve gotten rid of a lot of riff raff by hiring security and by having a very strict visitor parking policy. And this ticks off a lot of people because visitors will get towed if they don’t have a parking pass, and I think this shows that we take the safety of the students very seriously. I’m not saying that we can guarantee your personal safety but we’re going to do everything we can to make it easier to live here,” Taylor said.
Gamecock Village is not affiliated with JSU because of its previous reputation, though Taylor hopes that this changes.
“We’ve been working really hard to develop a relationship with the university, but back when the property was ‘The Grove,’ it had a really bad reputation of being a dangerous place to live. And we’re really trying to turn people’s perceptions around. That’s why it’s good to do things like this, and plus we get to give back to the community,” she said.
Taylor believes that it’s going to take time for people to realize that Gamecock Village is a safe place to live. According to Taylor, even the University Police Department has noticed the decrease in crime in Gamecock Village.
“I talked to the police chief at UPD, and I found out that they used to have police reports that were 50 pages long. Now there are only eight, which are just minor noise complaints. And that shows how far we’ve come. So when parents ask officers at the UPD about Gamecock Village, they’ll be telling the truth when they tell them that things have gotten a lot better,” she said.