As a small, private school in the heart of rural, Lancaster County, Elizabethtown College is not known for its active nightlife. While this has become an accepted part of the “Etown experience” for some, many students are interested in events within the community and the campus to fill their nights and weekends.
Etown senior Sam McNulty said that she wishes more businesses in the Elizabethtown Borough would target college students or offer college-specific events.
“There needs to be more advertisement on campus for events that are happening in town,” McNulty said.
In order to create events that target college students, the Borough and the College must work together to build and strengthen bridges in the community.
Borough council member Jeffrey McCloud represents Ward 2, which includes the College. McCloud said he feels that the Borough and the College have a good relationship, though he does see room for improvement.
“I’d like to see other [businesses], too, that allow college students to have a good time,” McCloud said.
McCloud says the Borough council works to create an environment for businesses that would attract interest from college students and the greater community. He went on to explain that the relationship between the College and the Borough is essential as the town has a part in attracting good students to the College.
Former city council candidate and Ward 2 resident Mary Auker-Endres discussed the importance of improving the relationship between the College and the Borough during her campaign.
“I felt like the Borough didn’t have as fruitful of a relationship with the College as we should,” Auker-Endres said.
She discussed potential partnerships the College could make with the community, including working with businesses to allow students to use Jaybucks at local restaurants or to create transportation for students wanting to explore the town.
Vice President of Student Affairs at the College, Dr. Celestino Limas, said that the College is currently working to create a shuttle program that would allow students to visit the town to explore and partake in activities.
The shuttle is meant to help integrate students in the community and also to prevent issues that may come from students coming home late at night after consuming alcohol. Both McCloud and Auker-Endres said they are aware of past and current complaints from residents regarding loud and disruptive behavior from students returning back to campus late at night.
Limas said campus administration is aware of the complaints from some community members and hopes that implementing the shuttle system and other various activities on campus to engage students will reduce these issues.
He also emphasized that students are involved in the community through various service learning endeavors and that the college tries to create opportunities that allow students to be positively engaged with the community.
“I think when students make good impressions in the community it creates a huge amount of good will with the community,” Limas said.
In addition to working with the community, Limas hopes to work with on-campus groups to create more events and nightlife activities for students. A recently approved “social lounge” will allow students to spend time with friends while allowing of-age students to drink alcohol in a responsible manner while underage students are present. This new program will also include various events such as trivia nights, karaoke, open mic nights and other various pub-style events.
Limas also wants to create activities that do not have to involve alcohol, such as regular concerts or other performance events for all students.
As the College continues to improve activities for students, it will be essential for them to maintain and improve their relationship with the Borough as well.
“The Borough and the College have a really good relationship, but like any relationship it takes work,” McCloud said regarding the importance of continuing to work on improving the Borough-College relationship.