With the current ‘brain drain” problem facing the city of Rochester’s retention of college students, an active link between Rochester city colleges and their communities is just as important as ever. Mayor Robert Duffy’s second term has just started and UR needs to further bolster its efforts to work with and have student participation in Rochester’s local government.
In a report filed last month, UR was voted the 13th-best Neighbor School for a city. This is due to pre-existing strong ties with the Rochester community through programs sponsored by groups such as the Rochester Community Center for Leadership and other student organizations.
Specifically RCCL’s Urban Explorer is one such initiative that allows students to connect with the city of Rochester and other civic activities during the summer. Such a program during the academic school year would fill a noticeable gap.
During Duffy’s Town Hall meeting last semester, he called for further cooperation with UR in the form of student input and guidance for his administration. Duffy talked about similar programs that were in-place between City Hall and other area colleges, but not UR.
Currently, UR does not have a specific placement program for students looking to work within City Hall or apply for internships with the city’s government. While students can work independently with the RCCL or groups such as the Political Science Undergraduate Council for such opportunities which would be beneficial not just for students, but also to build lasting student investment within the city of Rochester there is no set program that allows for the exchange of ideas between UR students and City Hall.
Such a program would allow both UR and the city of Rochester to continue to strengthen their ties. It would give students the experience that comes with being involved and working with the local city and community while giving the city officials the opportunity to foster a stronger connection with UR students.