Whether you’ve lived in Hillsdale your entire life or you’ve been attending Hillsdale College for only a few weeks, you’re a townie.
“Townie” has mixed connotations. It is used lightheartedly to describe the heartland temperament of many of the residents, but it’s also used rudely to identify people who aren’t associated with Hillsdale College.
If you’re a student who uses townie in a derogatory manner, realize that you’re talking about yourself. You’re talking about everyone who has chosen Hillsdale as their home.
Hillsdale’s city and culture enjoys a tight-knit community in which residents rely on each other.
We lament the destruction of community, social institutions, and Western civilization in our classes, but then deride the one community we should support.
Drawing a line between those affiliated with the college and those who live in the city unnecessarily divides us. It makes Hillsdale residents feel like outsiders in the city they love. It makes students feel unwelcome in the community that has become their temporary home.
Hillsdale residents treat students with respect. They open up their community to us every year.
They show us respect and love when we go for a midnight meal at The Palace Cafe.
We know we’re going to get good service at a fair price when we go to Glory to God.
And we know community members will strike up a conversation with us when we’re hanging out at Here’s to You Pub and Grub.
So, let’s show them the respect they deserve by rethinking our use of the word townie. We shouldn’t use it to divide the college from the town. We should use it as a title that includes all of us.
And be thankful you’re a townie. It’s a prestigious position. Only a few hundred students each year get the opportunity to join this great community.