Friday, February 02, 2007

My Introduction (Hello), Our Goal

Hello Cortland! I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Ed Wolfe and I’m a senior at SUNY Cortland. I am the newest addition to the Cortland Downtown Blog.

First off, I would like to thank the Cortland Downtown Project and the community as a whole for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to something that I feel is monumentally important. I’m glad community members are taking initiative with this project to improve the place we all live. This blog is perhaps the most powerful tool we have to accomplish our goals within the community.

I feel strong ties to this community. I’ve spent the better part of the past three years living in Cortland. My role has not only been as a student of the college, but also, an employee of one of the town’s many businesses, a customer of various establishments, and an active member of Cortland’s social scene. I don’t feel I’ve been isolated to only the student portion of that social scene; spending a summer and winter in Cortland with a diminished population of students gave me the opportunity to transcend the boundaries between college students and full-time residents, boundaries that I think we all need to admit do exist.

The first thing I want to focus on is ways we can break down these boundaries. You all know what I mean. In certain factions of both the student population and the residential population, there is resentment towards one another. I think this blog can serve as an open forum to discuss how both parties can reduce these feelings, and the negative impact they impose on the community.

Having lived in the Clock Tower Apartments last year, I felt the compassion and strength of the community; the way the town rallied to support us in an instance of tragedy was truly moving. I know first hand the integrity of this town. I think its paramount we discuss ways to spread this message across the student population. The relationship between the town and the school should be one of mutual respect. I envision a community that forces a substantial amount of students to consider staying after graduation, students who will become active community members, students who will raise families in Cortland and who will have children who become part of a thriving community.

I think this vision is possible, but it won’t come easy. I hope to see some dialogue on this blog in the coming days discussing how we can spread the idea of mutual respect across both the student and residential populations. Cortland, how can we achieve this goal? We must all work together to make this happen.

I said this blog is a powerful tool to enact change. The reason being, communication is the key to change. No idea on its own is stronger than the contribution of many. Don’t be shy; this blog is designed to allow us all to contribute. Once again, I’m thankful for my opportunity to do so.

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