At one point in time we have all though about what Buffalo would be like if UB never moved to Amherst. Alas, there’s not much that we can do about the earth shattering mistake. Just think about all of the students who go to UB and never venture into the city. It’s an unbearable thought actually. But the times are changing a wee bit, and as urban progress marches forward, there are some UB students (attending classes on North Campus), who are voluntarily calling the city of Buffalo “home”.
I just came across an interesting read in the UB Spectrum that tells the story of a UB student, Emma Janicki (Managing Editor of The Spectrum, an independent student publication) who chose to live on the West Side, instead of on North Campus, or even South Campus (read article). While I was somewhat surprised to hear her candid views on South Campus, it was very refreshing to read that she had set out to explore, and then settle down in the Kleinhans neighborhood. Getting back to the South Campus issue for a second, everyone is aware that there are issues that face that university neighborhood, and UB has been making efforts (recently) to reinvest in that campus. At the same time, when a student views the neighborhood in this light, in a university paper, that should send a signal to that there is much work to be done! UB South is a beautiful campus, and should be a giant catalyst for change in all corners of that part of the city, whether it’s focusing efforts on getting slumlords packing their bags, or engaging the commercial districts (with the help of the City) to come up with ways to strengthen the corridors.
Getting back to the crux of the article, I was interested to hear Emma’s take on the commute issue. Instead of living in close proximity to a bus that would take her directly back and forth between South and North Campuses, she chose to live where she wanted, and drive 15 minutes instead. Emma brings up the idea of UB offering NFTA bus passes to students, as other universities do across the country. Ultimately, I found it refreshing to hear a UB student spell out what many of us have been thinking for years.
“UB, if you really want to be the University at Buffalo, introduce your students to Buffalo. And students, Buffalo isn’t far, the drive isn’t bad and the houses are gorgeous – before you make your next housing decision, consider living in the city.” – Emma Janicki
Photo: Emma Janicki – UB Spectrum