Adam PrachtParticipantOctober 19, 2015 at 2:14 pmPost count: 6
First, this site looks great. I’m hoping that everyone takes some time to look at the site and to contribute to the discussion and direction.
On this topic of “Growth” I think some of the most interesting topics of discussion has been how to keep the sense of community as we grow.
As many have pointed out, part of what keeps the MC community so tight-knit is that most students spend their years here on-campus.
As recruitment and retention become more successful, it will be necessary to maintain those numbers with the facilities and housing options to serve those students.
In terms of residential space, it seems we have a few options:
-Buy up surrounding properties and solicit major gifts for new residence halls. (Pros: Good use of space. Keeps students on-campus. Cons: Potential of bad feeling w/ McPherson community. Bad financial position if the enrollment trends don’t hold).
-Buy up surrounding properties and have them available as home-style residence options. (Pros: Easier to sell housing back off if enrollment trends don’t hold. Keep students on/near campus. Cons: Cannot house as many students. May still create bad feeling with McPherson community.)
-Allow students to seek housing in the wider community after one or two years required on campus living. (Pros: Flexibility if enrollment doesn’t hold. Could create positive feelings in community if we are boosting local economy by supporting a greater private housing market. Cons: May create greater disconnect between students and feeling of community on campus. Might result in bad feelings in community if MC student prove disruptive tenants/bad neighbors.)
What are our thoughts? Other options? How do we maintain a campus community, keep good relations with the broader community, and allow ourselves financial flexibility?
Sara BrubakerParticipantOctober 27, 2015 at 9:21 amPost count: 1
Another thing to consider: Has the concept of “community” changed since many of US (faculty/staff/administrators) were students? What are students looking for? How do they define community? Do we need to consider factors besides just where they sleep at night?
Adam PrachtParticipantOctober 30, 2015 at 10:30 amPost count: 6
Not having been a student myself at MC as an undergrad, this is difficult to answer. My personal experience in college was in a scholarship hall all four years at KU, located on the edge of campus. This kept me connected to the university community just by being right there. I suspect that had I lived in the town, that connection would have been lessened.
However, I was also in a major (journalism) that required a good deal more than just coming to campus for classes. Working on the University Daily Kansan meant that most of my free time was spent in the heart of the campus anyway, so perhaps the location mattered less than the opportunity for being involved on-campus.
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