Leaving the bubble
Building relationships with the neighbors around us are important to have a sustainable and inclusive community. As a Mercer student, I sometimes get so caught up in where I am that I forget about the world beyond Mercer as I am behind the gates and buildings that surround the campus.
I have called Macon home for a year now and still struggle to remember that I am a part of the Macon community too. So, how can I help my community? Where are there injustices that I can help alleviate from the community?
After volunteering at Daybreak and talking with community leaders about the injustices many people in this city face, I realized that my voice matters and I should speak out, but not by myself. As a community, Mercer students, faculty and staff, and Maconites alike, should invest in this community we call home. To build community means to fight injustice, walk alongside those who are struggling, and respect every person we see, regardless of their circumstances.
Macon has the potential to be known for how we treat our neighbors once we decide to believe that everyone belongs in our community. Our community should be a community that believes that no one is too broken, too lost, or too different to be a part of it. This is the kind of community Macon should strive to become.
Mercer parking a big problem
Have you ever returned back to Mercer campus around say, 10 p.m., and you desperately struggle to find a reasonable parking spot that is remotely close to your dorm building? Does Shorter parking lot seem like it’s always full with cars as if people parked there and never drove their car again?
The huge issue of parking on campus is terrible and disappointing, to say the least. This frustrating problem could easily be solved in so many different ways, but instead, it seems as if no one in Mercer’s authoritative administration even cares. Our complaints about parking are basically ignored while Mercer police go around handing out tickets daily. Our money is being taken through these tickets, even though we already pay plenty to go here.
Maybe freshmen shouldn’t be allowed to bring their cars on campus, or maybe they could eliminate or be less strict on tag color coded parking. I am not claiming to know the perfect solution to this problem, but I do know that this issue is getting out of hand and it is exponentially worsening.
Poverty in Macon
Growing up in a middle-class family in northern Macon, I was personally never exposed to poverty, or perhaps I saw it but never had to worry about it. I never went downtown while I was growing up because my parents never saw it as safe, especially by myself. It almost made downtown Macon feel as if it was not really Macon and that certainly stunted downtown Macon’s economic growth.
During my time as a student at Mercer University my eyes have become open to the amount of poverty within Macon; being close to the downtown area and taking community-focused classes have shown me that I have a bigger part to play in the community than I thought when I was a kid. “Fixing poverty” is not something that the federal or local government can do, but it is an issue of community. Volunteer work, fundraising and donations are all possible ways in which we, as members of the community, can help our society.