Approximately 75 community members, Wayne State students and faculty took part in a Campus and Community Service Collaborations Conversation event on Tuesday.
Titled "The Voice of Image: How Are We Seen?" the evening began with opening remarks from Wayne State College President Marysz Rames and Wayne City Council member Cale Giese, in the absence of Mayor Ken Chamberlain.
Members of the Wayne State TKE Fraternity moderated the event which involved round table discussions on three questions.
The first of these was for each individual to consider his or her own self-image.
"Have you ever experienced a time when you felt like people saw you very differently from how you see yourself? Are you seen differently in different places or by different people? Have you ever felt like you weren't seen? Have you ever failed to see someone else? and How does being seen, not seen or misunderstood by others impact the way you see yourself? were the first group of questions discussed by those in attendance.
Comments ranged from the way young people are viewed in the community, to the way international students are viewed both in the community and on the WSC campus to the use of social media where one group noted "people take things differently. Make sure you think before posting anything."
The second set of questions for discussion focused on groups in which those in attendance belonged.
"What do you value about this group? How is the group seen within the community or on the campus? What action steps might your group take to address the challenges to how they are seen? How well does the group you belong to represent the diversity found in your community or on your campus?" were discussed.
Members of the audience had varying feelings on the comments on the range of acceptance in groups.
Several college students noted that groups on campus become like family, while others said that it takes a long time to get established and make friends and that they don't necessarily feel a part of the group they belong to.
Comments also focused on the image of the campus and campus projects.
"The college brings energy and life to the community. Because Wayne State is a smaller school, it is easier to find opportunities to do the things you want," students said.
The final question of the evening involved the campus and community as a whole.
Questions asked included "What image do you think the campus projects? What image do you think the community projects? What image might the campus wish to reflect/project? What image might the community wish to reflect/project? and Discuss strategies to increase collaboration of campus and community in building strong, positive were part of the focus.
Comments on this series of questions included having open lines of communications, telling the community about the good things happening on campus and possibly implementing some type of program where college students, especially international students, who have some type of "adopted" family that they could go to for assistance with finding their way around the community.
Parking, both on and off-campus, was brought forth as an issue that needs to be addressed.
A final comment from the group indicated that discussion between the college and community needs to continue and "change can happen and you can make it happen."
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