Breaking down the Wall

I spent my summer working in downtown Big Rapids. The city’s slogan is “you’ll love it here,” and I do. But there’s always been a sort of invisible wall between Ferris and the city.
Prior to this summer, I didn’t know who the mayor of Big Rapids was. I didn’t know about the freshly-farmed produce available at the farmers market. I didn’t know about Stage-M, Tuba Bach, Artworks or the White Pine Trail. I didn’t know about the county fair or the hundreds of excellent events and concerts happening in the area. My guess is at least one of these is unfamiliar to you.
Why? I’m not saying it’s intentional, but Ferris and Big Rapids exist mostly without each other.
Near the end of August, a grey cloud of “the students are coming back soon” seemed to be hovering above my Big Rapids coworkers. Their quaint community exists in peace all summer, only to be overrun with thousands of students each fall.
Let’s break down the wall. Let’s get involved and become a part of the community. There are job opportunities, volunteer opportunities and plenty of great events to take part in.
We should treat our rental properties and public works with respect. Take a walk downtown, go to a park, read the newspaper and take part in the Big Event this spring. Not only is it a blast, but we as students can clean all of Big Rapids in just a matter of hours!
When considering projects and programming, RSO’s should look to provide service to the community that provides so much to them as students. Collaboration is key.
Ferris and Big Rapids should have a symbiotic relationship. We don’t just coexist, we’re neighbors. Let’s be the right kind of neighbor.