Fostering and developing a strong sense of community

Fostering and developing a strong sense of community

Strategic Issue 4 Building a strong sense of community involves stakeholders from all areas of Bloomsburg University, including groups that have been traditionally underrepresented. A strong sense of community enhances commitment among members, mutual support of stakeholders, higher morale, a global perspective and diversity of members.

The definition of “community” has grown in this new century, thanks to the Internet, social media and other emerging technologies. As a member of Bloomsburg University’s campus community, each student and employee is part of the larger community that encompasses the Town of Bloomsburg, the region, the commonwealth and beyond.

A university brings vibrancy to a local community. Bloomsburg University attracts restaurants, retail stores and other business enterprises that benefit local residents. Faculty, staff and students augment available services through engagement in volunteer initiatives, service learning, internships, student teaching, community nursing, speech and language clinic, athletics and cultural events, to name a few. If determined to be feasible, the possible relocation of administrative offices and university services to the downtown could create another tie between the university and community.

A campus community promotes understanding and respect, both on- and off-campus, with faculty, staff and students from varied religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds and diverse lifestyles, as well as university-sponsored programs that embrace diversity. Likewise, emphasis on global awareness and environmental issues through the general education curriculum and the university’s day-to-day operations carry influence far beyond the campus’ boundaries.

Recognizing that community opinion is formed by the university’s portrayal in all types of media, Bloomsburg University will strengthen relationships with traditional news media while embracing new concepts and methods of sharing messages. Positive one-on-one interactions with the community, however, will make the longest strides in enhancing town/gown relations.

Alumni, traditionally among the university’s strongest supporters, will be more involved in their alma mater through regional alumni chapters that reinforce their connection to Bloomsburg University. Alumni will be called upon to provide internship, job shadowing, employment and recruitment opportunities for current students and attest to the value of a BU education in their lives.

A community gains its strength from each stakeholder’s life experiences, education and point of view. BU will establish professional development opportunities that enable an exchange of knowledge and experiences on topics including the challenges and value of diversity.

To foster and develop a strong sense of community, Bloomsburg University will:

  • Communicate effectively among all stakeholders.
  • Promote a diverse community that accepts and supports cultural and social differences.
  • Encourage globalism and environmental awareness and responsibility.
  • Improve town/gown relations.
  • Increase student engagement with the university and community.
  • Strengthen connection with alumni.