The “Beloit bubble” is a phrase that gets bandied about quite a bit on this campus, and the idea that the college exists in a sort of vacuum was not lost on Resident Assistants Jonathan VanTreeck'13 and Samantha Holte'14. The two have been discussing ways to confront the idea since their R.A. training this past summer.
“While this term can be problematic in several ways, we thought of planning an event which could tackle the ‘bubble’ issue along with discussing the relationship between the city and the college,” VanTreeck explains.Tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 5) at 7 p.m. in Moore Lounge of Pearsons Hall, the pair have organized a panel discussion called Breaking the Bubble: A Community Panel, an event aimed at “addressing the relationship between the college and the greater Beloit area, specifically the issues of perceptions from both ends, student activism and/or apathy, and ideas for further positive engagement,” VanTreeck says.
The community representatives who will be on the panel include:
- Mark Spreitzer (alumni, city council member)
- Marc Perry (NGO director of Community Action)
- Katie Smullen (principal of Merrill Elementary)
- Tom Johnson (principal of Beloit Memorial)
- A current student involved with CCOC
“More than anything we hope that people who attend the panel discussion (both students and city residents) feel inspired to continue promoting a positive relationship between the college and city of Beloit,” VanTreeck says. “Specifically, we hope that students want to engage with the greater Beloit area, whether it's volunteering with Todd Reading Club or attending Beloit Memorial theater performances. At the same time, we also hope city residents feel comfortable to enjoy the college space, and acknowledge both the college and city as one holistic Beloit community.”