Practical events could dispel 'suitcase' label
December 1, 2006
The University has commonly been known as a “suitcase campus,” referring to the rapid exit strategies of students every Friday afternoon. It has been a constant struggle to keep more students active and on campus during the weekends.
It may not be that everywhere else is better than here, but that the University and the community have not been trying hard enough or effectively aiming their efforts at the right people to keep students on campus.
The majority of students leave campus on the weekends to be with other people, spend time at home and work as many hours as possible in their part-time jobs. Even for students who work in town, often there is not enough to keep them here beyond their class hours.
The planned activities are offered by organizations that tend to target their efforts at people who are already members of the groups. The advertising is located accordingly and lacks the reach it needs to gain interest from a larger portion of the community.
Apparently many services on campus rely heavily on the University e-mail system. Yet it seems while half the University community doesn’t check their inboxes on a regular basis, the other half deletes messages when “STUDENTS NOTIFY” is seen in the subject line.
Somehow there has to be a way to target students and draw their attention to the efforts being made to strip UWRF of its unwanted moniker.
Since so many of the upperclassmen live off campus and escape at the first opportunity, the incoming freshmen and other underclassmen follow their example.
This begs the question: Why not aim some of the weekend events at the upperclassmen?
UWRF is not a dry campus, meaning alcohol is permitted on the premises for those who are 21 and older.
Why doesn’t the University use that to its advantage by reopening Brandy’s or offering activities that include alcohol for the of-age students?
While faculty and staff may want to acknowledge the possibility of over-consumption of alcohol by students and not condone the activity, sponsoring events with bar service available would attract the ever-vacant upperclassmen and encourage the younger students to follow their example by staying on campus.
If juniors and seniors continue to vanish when classes are not in session, the upperclassmen of tomorrow will follow directly in their footsteps.
We recognize the fact that groups and departments on campus make efforts to rid UWRF’s “suitcase campus” label, but hope to also shed light on the fact that advertising needs to be refocused to encourage a larger chunk of the student population to stick around.
By serving beer at Brandy’s or malt beverages at a Friday concert, students might participate in more events, and the gap between those who live on campus and their commuter counterparts will be bridged.