Community or Controversy

Image by Baylen Whitfield

Written by Lauren Buser. Media by Baylen Whitfield.

Image by Baylen Whitfield
Image by Baylen Whitfield

Does Greenville College help or harm the community in the town of Greenville? Are we, Greenville College, including the town when we talk about community, or is it just those on campus?

GC was added to the town of Greenville in 1855. At that time, the college was titled Almira College and was an all girls’ school affiliated with the Baptist church. In 1892, the college was bought by the Free Methodist Church ministerial leaders. Since then, the college has striven to uphold “Christ-honoring” regulations.

GC is big on fellowship and community. Students at the college, however, don’t always feel welcome by the town of Greenville, and some citizens of Greenville don’t feel the college has a positive effect on their town.

Many town members and students have something to say about the community struggle but they remained anonymous for personal reasons. Students at GC participate in town businesses and organizations. Some students believe that the town of Greenville relies on their business to keep it thriving. Townspeople who aren’t associated with the college believe the town would have more business if there wasn’t a college in the center of town. In fact, many of the town’s members that were interviewed felt it would be best if the college was its own entity.

Image by Baylen Whitfield
Image by Baylen Whitfield

GC would love for the students to get more involved with the community through programs like the Simple Room. People who are town members and college associates feel this sense of community should continue as well. One community member stated,

With the issue of protests at the college, shouldn’t the college know more about the community they are living in? Shouldn’t they know how those who want to support the college feel about bigger issues?”

There are also some people who feel that the college undermines the grade schools and high school in town. People in the community don’t always feel like the three systems come together to support each other. However, there are events such as the annual homecoming parade and various music concerts where all three schools come together. Still, some people feel as though the grade schools and high school are on the low end of the totem pole. Especially when all three are fundraising, starting new programs, or having events. It leaves the town in an uncomfortable position to decide who to support.

It’s important that college students invest in the community outside of campus. Our choices, decisions, and programs affect this small town and the people living in it. In being a part of such a wonderful community, let’s respect, understand, and reach out to the town of Greenville and listen to their voice.


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