This weekend will mark the annual culmination of what has been two months of marketing, pink balloons and chocolates. Honestly, we’re glad that there is no such genre as Valentine’s music, or else every other song on the radio would have been inundated with sappy, drippy tunes beginning Dec. 26.
But, when all of the clearance chocolate is gone, UD’s annual donation drive will still be chugging along, encouraging us and our alumni to donate our time, money and effort to the community. We know how much UD promotes community. In fact, they use it so much that it almost seems as though many students have been able to tune it out whenever they hear it in conversation.
It can be easy to define our community as just what’s in and around our campus, what’s usually referred to as the “UD bubble,” but there is so much more that we aren’t considering.
There are museums, food fairs, arts festivals and local music performances that are all important parts of our larger community. To neglect these is to neglect a large part of what makes UD special.
The marketers in charge of I Love UD month have been trying to expand the common definition of community to include our city, but it’s hard to tell whether or not the strategy has taken any hold with the students.
Many of us never make it past Brown Street as our definition of “off campus.” Of course, for those of us who don’t have cars, it can be nearly impossible to go beyond what borders our beloved university. If you have the means of transportation, definitely take advantage of the entire city. Grab dinner with a group of friends in the Oregon District or go ice skating at RiverScape MetroPark.
While it’s good to know the fastest route to Chipotle and Arrow, they aren’t all the city has to offer. We should try to remember that UD, as big of a role as it plays in our lives, is only a small part of something much bigger.