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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

NIEZGODA: Marquette needs more Milwaukee heart

Photo by Sarah Kuhns
Real Chili is a local restaurant on Wells Street.

Marquette University may be located in the heart of Milwaukee, but it does not represent the heart that Milwaukee has.

The college experience fluctuates depending on your location. From being in the South to the North, from being in a city to a college town, even from different neighborhoods within the city. Students get into school, study, get their degree and get out. But in the moments of freedom after looking up from their textbooks for the weekend, the students look to their location for things to do.

I had a high school teacher who attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville who said there was nothing to do there except drink. I have been told stories of countless sleepless nights walking to Conrad’s on State Street by my friends at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marquette students have the entirety of Milwaukee as their playground like the lakefront, Art Museum, East Side and Brady Street. Despite this, Marquette does not incorporate the broader personality of Milwaukee into the campus environment nearly as much as it should.

More often than not, I am as far away from Marquette’s campus as I can get on the weekends. You’ll typically find me over on the East Side.

The location of Marquette is my least favorite aspect of the campus and as much as I would like to propose a “swap” with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering or Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, something tells me that it is not particularly feasible. 

Marquette can work to revitalize campus by incorporating more local businesses on campus.

As Marquette is located in Avenues West to serve the community, Marquette should take this idea into consideration when trying to invigorate the campus with more of Milwaukee’s broader culture.

To do this, the Marquette campus should create an event space like the Ivy House or the Cooperage to host events that could serve the community, like a flea market with affordable clothing from local vendors. This could also allow students to showcase their own businesses, while simultaneously bringing other local businesses into the area.

Marquette could also update the Book Marq to be a second-hand bookstore that would make academic and non-academic books more affordable to students. This could also incorporate the student-run organization Community. Books. YOU. which makes books more accessible to students. This redesign would then create a new space for students to hang out or study.

Similar to local restaurants like Real Chili and Sobleman’s, Marquette should also bring Milwaukee businesses into vacant spaces on campus, such as the old Burger King space on Wells Street. 

Maybe bringing in more local restaurants that would take MarquetteCASH or offer ways for students to get out of the dining halls.

UW-Milwaukee’s dining system has a feature that allows students to “Taste Milwaukee,” meaning students can take their meal plan dollars and spend them (or even get delivered from) at places like Mad Chicken, BelAir Cantina and FreshFin Poke.

Simpler changes could be made too, such as having The Brew represent the myriad of local coffee shops. This incorporation could support smaller shops like Interval or Anodyne Coffee, rather than Starbucks. 

Marquette needs to represent the broader Milwaukee from all different neighborhoods.

Marquette should be praised for some of the efforts it has taken already, as incorporate small businesses into campus life. Recently, the dining halls now offer Stone Creek Coffee as an option and the Alumni Memorial Union hosts Ian’s Pizza regularly for lunch.

This should not end, but be the first step.

Students should want to stay on campus when they are not between studying sessions and classes.

This story was written by Laura Niezgoda. She can be reached at [email protected]

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