The government has announced that it plans to build a new university. Some people think that your community would be a good place to locate the university. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a new university in your community. Use specific details in your discussion.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a small town where the state university is located, and my family’s life was richer as a result of having this university in our midst. Living in a “college town” can have its disadvantages, but I would readily advocate having a new university established in my community.
One of the primary advantages of having a university situated in a community is the economic boost it would enjoy. First and foremost, the community could look forward to the creation of steady jobs, including chefs to cook in the dining room, librarians to catalog books, and gardeners to landscape the grounds. Local restaurants, movie theaters and bookstores would benefit from the spending power of young college students, and new cafes and bars might even spring up.
However, a college town finds itself enriched not just financially but in other, less tangible ways. University life consists not just of academic but of extracurricular pursuits. Professors regularly give lectures on their fields of expertise, from Dostoevsky and Russian literature to American Civil War history, and these lectures are usually open to the public, as are concerts, poetry readings and plays. Especially in a small town, international students provide glimpses into other cultures that would otherwise not be so readily available. In the town where I grew up, a large number of doctoral students came from India with their families. The daughter of one such family eventually became my best friend; her family brought me to local Indian cultural events and I grew to love the culture and now consider Indian food to be practically my native cuisine.
It would be inaccurate, though, to portray a college town as a utopia. It’s an unavoidable fact that some undergraduates consider partying to be central to the college experience, and when such students live off campus in apartments, their lifestyles are likely to cause tension among their neighbors. Longtime residents who relish their communities as peaceful, family-oriented places to live are naturally disturbed when a group of students rent the house next door and create an atmosphere of drinking, parties and loud music at odd hours. There is no easy solution, but communication between the university administration and the community is an essential part of the planning process before the university is established.
When a university is established, it becomes inextricably connected to the community where it is located. Alumni who return, years later, for reunions might have some of their fondest memories away from campus, for example in the coffee shop where they spent hours studying, or at the ice cream shop that was a Friday night destination. Planning and discussion between the administration and the community will always be necessary to reduce conflict, but if given the opportunity to welcome a new university to my community, I would be more than enthusiastic about the prospect.