By Adam Duberstein

I  love  our  community. The City of Orange is filled with great running, biking and horse trails, and  a  robust  public  library  and parks  system. Families, working professionals and retirees add to our community, as do young adults exploring their educational endeavors at a top university. Our wonderful destination Old Towne maintains its charm and character through the hard work of community members, and such organizations as Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA).

Orange is a place where people really  care  about  one  another; where  relationships  are  criss-crossed  and  interwoven;  and where there is a commitment to a set of shared values, history and identity.

These are some of the reasons I, along with other homeowners, business owners and community members, founded "Respect Orange."  Respect Orange was born out  of  the  conflict  between  Orange  residents  and  the  negative impacts of Chapman University. We  knew  something  had  to  be done to respect one another and build bridges between the community and Chapman students to maintain  the  sense  of  cohesive-ness we have come to expect in Orange.  We wanted to reach out and  welcome  students  into  our community,  and  to  provide  the tools and encouragement needed, so the students can succeed out-side of the classroom.  Respect Orange wants to bring everyone together to continue to make our city great.

Respect Orange believes in respecting our community through:

  • Greeting everyone you meet with respect and a smile• Improving the community’s “quality slice of life”
  • Preservation of historic areas, structures, history and the small town feel and charm• Maintaining existing average population density
  • Leaving our community better than when we found it
  • Working together to overcome issues.

It’s now the time when Chapman  University  students  arrive back in Orange to continue their studies. Respect Orange encourages the community to welcome students, and to get to know them. Respect  Orange  has  created  a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” flyer that provides students living off campus with helpful hints that are often needed when integrating into a family neighborhood, such as the trash and street sweeping days.  Respect Orange has been working with Chapman and it offered to mail the flyer to students living off-campus.
Respect  Orange,  which  has Chapman  student  advisors,  is looking forward to continuing to meet with, and listen to, students who represent different organizations on campus, discussing how we can better our community and build  bridges  together. Respect Orange communicates on a regular basis with students, and was invited, this past spring, to participate in an open discussion with a variety of organizations, such as SGA, athletics and Greek life. We anticipate participating, engaging and listening more, once students are back on campus.
It was interesting to hear students’ opinions on community is-sues, especially on the expansion plans.  Many students felt as if their voices are not heard, or do not matter, to Chapman decision makers. These  same  students want “quality over quantity,” and believe  that  Chapman  University has outsourced social life to Greek organizations, and student housing to the community. They do not think this is fair. Respect  Orange  agrees,  and supports students who want more activities  and  living  opportunities on campus. Between Respect Orange  and  OTPA,  more  than 600  households  in  Old  Towne Orange, which has an estimated 1,400  homes,  are  represented.  With incoming President Daniele Struppa announcing he wants to add 2,000 to 3,000 students to the university  population,  Respect Orange questions how Chapman University can expand while continuing to maintain the character, small-town charm, and sense-of-family community that has come to define our city. If you would like to find out more about Respect Orange or get involved,  visit

Adam  Duberstein  is  an  Old Towne resident and a co-founder of Respect Orange.

Respect Orange: Let’s welcome CU students back to Orange