Students: The Other Perspective

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Its that time of year again, its officially (ok, well not officially yet) fall and more importantly back to school time.  First and foremost please remember to slow down when you see children and school buses.  They are our future and we need to protect them.  Drive cautiously and remember the rules of the roads.

Students, some people hear that word and they just cringe.  Many people when they hear this word they immediately think of Fanshawe College and UWO students who are once again “taking over” The City as they do each and every year for 8 months or so.  In the past weeks there have been more articles in the local news about students and the problems they bring with them, and like every other year the stories will continue until the students leave.

We hear about the ignorant students, the loud  and destructive students, the students that love to party, the students that love to cause a public disturbance, we hear about the negative aspects of city life that  we hear about these day after day.  But have we ever stopped to think about the positive things that students bring to The City, most of us I take it have never thought of these things and I thought it were about time that we began to.  By no means is this an exhausted list of the positives that students bring to London, it is only a beginning.

Charity work

The charity work that students contribute to London’s social well being is phenomenal.  Most people will mention Shinerama at the beginning of the school year that involves students but beyond that most people are hard pressed to name any other charities or organizations that benefit from student presence.  Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Community Living London, Participation House are just a few of the organizations that benefit greatly.  The local school boards (TVDSB, Catholic and others) all benefit from students volunteering to help in any number of ways.

Although beyond Shinerama and United Way events, the presence of students in charitable organizations may not be known, not because the students aren’t there, because believe me they are, but because students aren’t always looking for the recognition but rather they are just looking to help out.

Bus service

No matter what your standpoint and opinion are about the LTC and the service it provides you have to admit that without the student presence in town the service would be lacking.  Students not only help to keep the cost of bus fair down (passes, tickets and coin) they allow London to have the number of buses that it does as well as the service coverage and service frequency.  Without students tuition (portion of) subsidizing the public transit system in London, the service that we are currently receiving would be no-where near as good as it is.

(there is a large % of students that choose not to use the LTC and the pass they pay for [no opt out option], this in turn is essentially free revenue for the LTC translating into more money for more services.)

Economic Input

Students pour tons of money into the local economy here in London and without the students and their money London would not have many of the services and shops currently available to every consumer.  Students allow many restaurants to stay open, students ensure that the commercial services in malls and in the downtown are able to sustain business.  The services that students need allow for thousands of people in London to be employed, not only those at Fanshawe and Western but throughout the city.  Businesses locate in London because there is a large student population and many would not locate otherwise, this in turn provides the rest of the population access to the same businesses and services.

Students do not only bring their money (or parents money) with them but they bring business and services as well.

Social Characteristics

Social Characteristics are perhaps one of the most important things that students being to The City, but one of the most overlooked.  The student population (and young professional population, of whom were students some short time ago) not only bring new ideas to London but they ensure that the population in The City does not remain stagnant, that it continues to have a youthful characteristic to it.  Without the students London could be labeled as a retirement comment that is slowly on the decline, with limited grow, limited income and limited financial input into the local economy.  Students help to balance out the demographics, not only in London but in any city with major educational institutions.

Skilled workforce

Students are the future of London.  Not only are they providing the local economy with skilled workers (ok, many are leaving but this is another issue altogether) but they are providing The City with tax dollars that end up paying for services for those in their aging years.  Students provide a new outlook on The City and Life, not a better outlook but a new and refreshed one.  Students are the ones that in 10 years will be given the task of looking after the aging population, providing services to The City and who will be eventually running the cities.

Students provide a vast number of things to London, presently and in the future.

By no means am I trying to defend students as a whole, some students are better/worse than others.

Students may cause disturbances, students may be ignorant, students may throw loud and annoying parties, other students may get arrested for one thing or another and students may be the worst thing to happen to this city.

I think what we need to do as society is to start having a different perspective on issues such as students and those of the like.  How would we react to these vary comments and allegations if we replaced the word students with other words.

Natives may cause disturbances, Blacks may be ignorant, Whites may throw loud and annoying parties, Christians may get arrested for one thing or another and Canadians may be the worst thing to happen to this city.

A little hard to swallow perhaps?  My point exactly.

My guess is that people would not be to fond of the above statements and there would be a much larger uproar.  Is it really that fair to pick on students?  I admit there are problem students out there, but the majority are not.

With that said, how about we try to look at both the positives and negatives that the varying people of London bring to the city and stop stereotyping them into specific groups using them as scapegoats for larger issues tha may exist.

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2 Responses to “Students: The Other Perspective”

  1. John Leschinski Says:

    you mean the perpetual whiners who constantly bash students are out of touch?

  2. Kevin Says:

    John.

    I saw that and read it but thought it would be best to not waste my time with what’s posted there.

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