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Both the college and com­munity are trying to answer stu­dents’ pleas for off-campus enter­tainment. Yet, on a warm, Sat­urday evening, the sun casts shadows over empty vol­leyball courts and trails. The bowling alley, roller rink, and movie theater long for the laughter of Hillsdale’s stu­dents.

Where are 1,400 college stu­dents who live within a few miles of all these things? There are restau­rants, enter­tainment venues, and hang outs located off campus — explore them.

Last week, the Col­legian pro­vided six examples of off-campus places to visit in the com­munity. This week, the Col­legian reports on the re-opening of Silos Fun Park (for real this time) and a new bar and enter­tainment venue, Broadstreet’s Under­ground, along with owners’ plans for more ren­o­va­tions. Another local couple hopes to open a micro­brewery down the street from the college (see next week’s Col­legian).

Half a mile from the Suites, Hayden Park offers sand vol­leyball courts, mountain bikes, and miles of nature trails.

Baw Beese Lake is com­plete with disc golf, beach­front, and grill pits. Other trails wind around its shore.

Admit­tedly, Hillsdale and sur­rounding cities don’t offer the numerous activ­ities of an urban mecca, but there are things to do for those willing to wander off the quad.

In a few years or less, every student will graduate and likely move to a new city. An important part of that tran­sition involves exploring the com­munity and finding where to use their talents as a con­tributing member (kind of like Aristotle’s polis).

Without inter­acting with the people and places of the sur­rounding com­munity, stu­dents are wasting an oppor­tunity to learn how to seek out oppor­tu­nities that won’t always fall into their laps.

After grad­u­ation, G.O.A.L. won’t be there to email a com­pre­hensive list of vol­unteer options every week. Bill Lundberg won’t organize running club and cross country skiing.

Hillsdale teaches us how to be a valuable member of society. Don’t wait four years to put those lessons into practice.