Stritch students explore 'big city'

Thursday, June 13, 2013 4:20:00 PM

by Buddy Herberg, ’13 

“It was so nice to get the chance to leave campus and explore the city,” said second-year student Drew Birmingham about his trip to play bingo at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in May.

“I’m from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and have never really ventured into Milwaukee,” Birmingham said. “I wouldn’t even know where to go or what to do, so what Stritch is doing is great for students like me.”

The trip to Potawatomi was a school-sponsored event and part of an intentional effort to get students off campus and allow them to experience all that Milwaukee has to offer.

“Our efforts are to build on-campus traditions that involve showing our students the many opportunities in the big city,” said Matt Goodwin, assistant dean of students.

In addition to the Potawatomi excursion, the Students Activities Committee arranged for students to take a boat cruise on the Milwaukee River in spring.

“Not only was the view incredibly beautiful from the lake and river, but I met new people I probably would have never seen on campus,” freshman Torri Burke said. “It was a great bonding experience.”


Fellow freshman Kati Herberg agreed that these off-campus experiences allow a different kind of student interaction. In May, she attended a game at Miller Park with her brother, a Stritch senior, to watch the Brewers take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I was so excited to share the experience of my first Brewers game with my older brother,” Herberg said, enthusiastically. “He graduated in May and it was so nice that the school gave us the opportunity to see that side of Milwaukee before we both went back home for the summer and he started working on his career.”

This semester, students also attended a Milwaukee Admirals professional hockey game followed by a country music concert and watched the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team in a playoff game against the Miami Heat.

In addition to sporting events, some groups enjoyed the cultural aspects of Milwaukee. The English department set up a trip to see the play “A Raisin in the Sun” at the downtown Milwaukee Repertory Theater in April.

Junior Sarah Grey expressed a deep appreciation for the opportunity.

“I thought the play was so well performed and relevant to the city of Milwaukee,” Grey said. “The opportunity to see something so culturally significant really made it a worthwhile experience.”

On numerous other occasions this year, Stritch students ventured to different locations throughout Milwaukee to fulfill the University’s mission to serve others. Incoming freshman went to the Urban Ecology Center to volunteer in the beginning of the year. In addition, once a month throughout the entire year students traveled to St. Ben’s Community Meal Program to serve food to those in need.

“It was a real eye-opening experience,” said freshman Alyssa Stube looking back on the year. “Emotions arose that I know would have never been present on campus. It was really interesting to see how difficult it is for some people in this city and I was pleased to be able to help.”

Goodwin said he has an obligation on behalf of the University to expose students to Milwaukee and plans to have similar offerings for students in the upcoming years.