Wednesday, April 13, 2011

News Flash: Salem Has a University!

Okay, so it's not actually new information. Willamette University claims to be the oldest university west of the Mississippi or something. Its been around for....pretty much ever. Yet, it seems strangely detached from the city it lives in.

There is often consternation in people's voices when they talk about the lack of interaction between Willamette University students and downtown Salem. This detachment seems to be a mystery no one can figure out.

A couple of things happened recently which made me realize maybe there is a solution to this issue:

  1. I visited a military town
  2. I saw a conversation on Twitter about deals for college students
If you've ever been to a military town, and many college towns do the same, you'll notice that military/college deals are prominently advertised.

Why don't Salem businesses cater to the Willamette crowd with special nights, deals, percentages off, etc. 

What do you think? Would this actually entice Willamette students to come downtown? What about state workers? Would the same things work for them?


Stacy said...

YES! Great idea. Thank you for bringing this up. As someone who went to Willamette, now works at Willamette and is a Salem advocate (Salem is great!) I often think about the interaction between the city and the university. It seems in some cases we end up with a bit of a blame game; a "they" don't interact with "us" commentary coming from both sides. In reality I think that the two DO interact on many levels and both sides could do more to make the most of the relationship. I am very interested in other perceptions and ideas. Anyone else?

Jesscia said...

I think this is a great idea! It would be cool if local businesses also opened it up to supporting hospital workers, and government workers as well. We should try harder as a community to be thankful of one another!

Kelsey said...

Local businesses that cater to Willamette students have been incredibly successful in the bast, in my opinion. Look at the Willamette Nights at Pete's that have happened a few times over the last year. Offer us a deal, and practically the entire school shows up. Same thing with Adam's Ribs, which has a student discount and wifi.

I also wish more businesses took advantage of advertising with Willamette's Collegian Newspaper. It's the best way to get info out to Willamette students other than Facebook.

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