The Benefit Of Having a College in Your Town

This post is somewhat sports related but warning, only slightly.

Living here in DeKalb, IL, home of Northern Illinois University, having friends that went to school here, and going to undergrad at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, it seems to be a trend that the town's hate the colleges or universities that are in them. Now the school's in major cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago don't have this problem- mainly because the city is so big anyway plus there are multiple major universities, but the smaller ones like DeKalb and Champaign, IL seem to. This perplexes me (Maybe people in these smaller towns should absorb the college's towns knowledge via osmosis or something to know what "perplexes" and "osmosis" mean). There are a lot of advantages that major colleges or universities bring to a town and while sure there are some disadvantages, I think they are far outweighed by the advantages.

The main reason most small cities hate colleges is people they hate all the drunken kids walking around. I'm a sure drunken debauchery has little downside to us college kids, but I can see why we piss off the locals. But in most small cities, the college kids piss off the locals so much that the city wants the kids and college and all gone. What!? Listen, drunken kids piss off anyone who isn't drunk but 1) how much of a bother really is it. Do you really live that close to a bar or the campus that the drunkenness is a constant bother? 2) Read the advantages below and I'm sure if the university does leave, you'll long for the day the University was there

The weakest advantage but most sports related one (and for a sports blog I'll put it first), is that Universities provide excitement and entertainment for the city. I wish I had stats to back me up so I'll fully admit this is just an observation based on my limited experiences being on college campuses, but the locals love college sports- mainly basketball and baseball. A lot of major sports teams are located in bumblefuck. Michigan is in Ann Arbor. Kansas is in Lawrence. UNC is in Chapel Hill and Duke is in Durham. There's absolutely nothing to do in Oklahoma besides sports. This list goes on and on. Even with MAC conference like and schools with shitty teams, the team is still important to the locals. It's much cheaper to go to a college game and probably a lot more exciting to most than a pro game.

Along with this entertainment factor, most colleges use there basketball arena as a way to bring in national and local music acts. You think you would be even remotely cultured or entertained if you didn't have music acts and a local team to root for every week?

The biggest reason though that colleges help out these small towns BECAUSE IT HELPS THE ECONOMY OF THE TOWN. I know in DeKalb, the biggest producer of the jobs is the university. And I can imagine this is true for most if not all small towns with universities in them. Not only that, there are always kids around, which means there's always bars, restaurants, stores, and other businesses that a person can either a) start themselves or b) work for. I read an article a year or two in The Daily Illini that stated the real estate market really wasn't being affected in Champaign-Urbana like it was in the rest of the country. This is because there are always college students that need places to stay and are willing and almost have to pay for lodging.

And along these lines and bringing this post full circle, drunken debauchery helps bring in money to the city. Not only can the city levy taxes on things like alcohol to bring in money, but I know in Champaign, the bar owners contribute a lot of money to local politicians. The local politicians for the most part allow kids to enter the bars and drink and in turn use that money to help the city as a whole. Plus, the money the city rakes in from drinking and pot tickets helps the cities economy. U of I has something called Unofficial, a Friday or two before St. Patrick's Day (b/c that holiday is during our spring break), everyone on campus (and that's not a hyperbole) plus everyone's friend come down for the day and drink until we barf or pass out- which usually happens around 3 pm. Anyway, the city of Champaign was vehemently against this awesome holiday. However, even if you include all the police officers the city had to employ, the city made a shit ton of money off of: the fines from the crazy amount of tickets they gave out (which in and of itself paid for the cops' salaries that day), the fines they handed to the bars, the money everyone and then some bought in alcohol and Solo cups and such, and the all the times people went out to eat and such because there friends were in town... Anyway, drunkenness may have been annoying, but I'm, sure these people's wallets are happy.

Moral of the story, if you a local in a city with a college or university in it, stop bitching about it.


The 'Bright' One said...

Wow, i cant believe it took you 11 months to write a post proclaiming your lover for booze.

You have no clue what osmosis is. I doubt your 2 weeks in gen chem taught you what osmosis is.

Remember that time i drank 2 cups of DME's sweat and sour mix? I felt nothing. Honestly, i think this whole drunk thing is a way to fill that never ending whole in your soul. I'm above it for sure, but i fill mine with crazy amounts of sports. I dread the day when my sports intervention happens. Unless it gets on MTV, in which case it will be awesome.

This comment makes no sense. Disregard the whole thing. I'm drunk on anatomy. Exam is in 18 days and i'm already freaking out. I couldnt learn spanish in 6 years, what are the odds i can learn latin in 3 weeks.