Eastern has a beautiful campus. It constantly has people buzzing from place to place, people having conversations, or people selling things on the sidewalks. Eastern Illinois University is a partially-full place that is full of positivity.
However, crime on campus has been a big topic on the minds of people around campus lately. There have been alleged shots fired, tire slashing, Walmart fights and robberies.
While all of these things are awful, the big question is, “How are these events going to affect The Eastern community in the future?”
I am sure many people in the community can agree with me when I say that I do not want these events to affect campus in a negative way. However, negativity has been shined on Eastern from a local and statewide light from this.
One of the consequences of these events may be that enrollment could continue to decline. This may be due to the economy and high cost of school, or it could be from people being concerned for their safety on campus.
If one of these reasons can be avoided, then why don’t we? Do we really want to risk more declines on campus?
While the community cannot really control what people do or what crimes are committed, we can come together to make campus look better though volunteering, or by just making student touring Eastern feel welcomed. We want to converse them that Eastern is where to be.
The community can host volunteer events to clean up campus. Future Panthers love to see a clean campus that they can see themselves living at.
Registered Student Organizations can be on the sidewalks doing little events at the Open Houses in order to show that there is always something fun to do on campus.
The student body can smile and wave at Future Panthers as they walk by on Open House dates. If one of the families or students look lost, students can stop, smile and show them the way.
So many people say that Eastern has a small town feel. However, not many people show others the small town attractions (besides the bars). Charleston has so much to offer. So, spend more time in the community. Offer others to do the same.
The more Eastern students go into the community, the more the people in the Charleston area get a feel of what Eastern students are like. When they get a good feeling about the Eastern community, there will be a bond to fill. Let’s break the wall between Charleston and Eastern and just be a community or a family.
Overall, the Eastern community needs to take steps just to make Eastern seem even greater than it already is.
We need to show the community and future panthers that Eastern is not just a place to get a degree, it is a place where people should be able to grow and have an amazing time while being a panther.
Let’s take steps to make Eastern the best it can be in the upcoming semester and school year