Residents of the 19th Ward will invite UR students to dinner for the eighth annual bridge dinner Saturday, March 24.
Started in 1994, this event gives students and community members a chance to span the pedestrian bridge that the event was named for and enjoy a home-cooked meal in the community.
When many people were moving to suburban communities, the members of the 19th Ward Association developed the motto of ?Urban By Choice? to express its commitment and belief in the unique aspects of urban community living. They would like to share those beliefs with UR students.
?The idea is to create an informal opportunity for students to come over and to get past the bad impression of the neighborhood across the bridge,? said Susan Hagen, a 19th Ward resident and chair of the event.
She has hosted students three times.
?We need to create traditions of reaching out to each other,? she continued.
?Bring a friend. This event should feel natural and fun, and you?ll be done in plenty of time to party afterward.?
The Interfaith Chapel and the Community Living Center are also helping to organize the program.
?This event was started by community members that were unhappy about the bridge between the 19th Ward and the River Campus and the different aspects of life on each side,? said Eileen Bruton, a coordinator from the Interfaith Chapel.
UR will reciprocate the gesture by hosting a ?bridge brunch? April 22 for the hosting families and participating students.
The brunch will be followed by an open house at the CLC house, located at the end of the Genesee River Footbridge, in order to introduce community members to this resource and allow them to interact with UR students.
CLC will also be sponsoring other events to foster interaction between the university and the community.
The 19th Ward Association and other city agencies will meet with faculty and staff from the Center for Academic Support to talk about opportunities for internships and service activities in their sector.
This presentation is open to all students and will be held in CLC Wednesday, April 4 at 4 p.m.
The meeting plans to address the new Community Fellows Program and a two-credit course called ?Community and Diversity? that will start in the fall. The course will allow students to develop leadership skills and intercultural understanding while organizing, learning and teaching other students about Rochester and service activity in the community.
CLC is also sponsoring a talk by Professor Ken Reardon of Cornell University?s City and Urban Planning Department on his work in East St. Louis and the 19th Ward. The talk will be in the Welles-Brown Room March 22 at 4 p.m.
To participate in the bridge dinner, call the Interfaith Chapel at x54321. It is strongly recommended that those interested sign up by Sunday, March 18. Students may indicate any dietary restrictions. The host family will provide rides there and back.
President of the 19th Ward and three-time student host John Borek said, ?We want UR students to know the community that is their neighbor.?