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Editorial: Student interaction with community important

On October 17, 2012


Sometimes it’s good to just stop and recognize your surroundings.

When was the last time you actually walked around downtown? Ottawa is clearly not a big city, but there are many ways to familiarize one’s self with the city in which they attend school.

Years ago, there was a huge gap between the school and the city. We didn’t really identify with surrounding businesses, and local support may not have been where it needed to be.

Most didn’t see a need for change. When people get set in their ways, they don’t like change anyway.

Local support may seem like a given, especially in bigger college towns, but smaller numbers and faster retention turnover can keep many students from seeing what cities like Ottawa have to offer.

School is a lot more fun when you can do more than sit in your dorm room all day.

So, when the disconnection between school and city was apparent, they both made an effort to change that.

The school has events and volunteer opportunities to help bring students together with the community, while different businesses have reached out, advertising their services to students and posting different athletic and school posters in their windows.

That’s great, but it may not be the end of the solution.

Last year, the Kappa Delta Pi program went to different elementary schools and read to students, doing other activities in the process.

During Fall Break, different sports teams helped out with volunteer organizations around town doing small, but helpful tasks in their spare time.

We can still do more. Granted, students may have a harder time finding time to help out around the community, but when the opportunity provides itself, we can take advantage. Beside community service being just a good thing to do for others, it also looks good to future employers. It shows that people are proactive in more than what they are qualified to be.

Other times, connecting with the community does not even involve work. Just go into a business and shop, or eat somewhere you haven’t before. You’d be surprised who you can meet and what you will learn by just exploring.

Service opportunities can be found at

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