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.