Too often, students on this campus complain that there is nothing to do in the city of Rochester, and even if there was something to do, there’s no way for students without cars to get to them anyway. This sense of isolation is detrimental to UR students and the community. Both groups are missing out on opportunities to interact with interesting people and to learn new things. This year UR has made large steps to correct these problems and misconceptions.
For the first time in its 14 year existence, Wilson Day was expanded to two days and included a variety of new programs. One of the most important of these was the inclusion of narrated tours on the bus routes that stop at campus. The scripts for the tours, which described the activities and amenities located on the route, were written by participants in the Urban Fellows program and recited by members of the Rochester community.
For a freshman class that lacks advice about activities and events from upperclassmen, and is not allowed to have cars on campus, this program could be a godsend. It gives students information on what the city of Rochester has to offer, and allows first-year students to have `the confidence to tackle public transportation. For many students who come from small towns, college may be their first interaction with public transportation. This can be intimidating, and without instruction it is a lot easier for most students to just stay on campus and avoid public transportation entirely.
Getting involved in the community adds greatly to college life. There is a multitude of interesting things that are easily accessible from the #14 bus lines like the Memorial Art Gallery, the restaurants on Park Ave and the shops along Monroe Ave. Students should no longer complain that there is nothing to do, or that Rochester is a boring city. Thanks to the innovative changes made to Wilson Day, at least freshman students should become more involved in life outside the UR bubble, and take advantage of what the city has to offer.