The University of Arizona and its Role in the Region
We value the University of Arizona as a cultural and economic resource and provider of quality education. This section explores how the University of Arizona influences and can be influenced by growth, land use, and development patterns.
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In August of 2012, I left what I called home to come to the city of Tucson. As a first year freshman at the University of Arizona, I was nervous for the path ahead; I was going to be alone in a city in which I knew no one. A business major with an interest for the media arts, I was a shy seventeen year-old kid that was ready to take on a new adventure in a new home.
At first glance, Tucson seemed to be a run-down city that was filled with potholes and battered down neighborhoods. There seemed little to do compared with my hometown of San Diego. Nothing beats dipping your feet into the warm sand while smelling the calm relaxing scent of the ocean breeze San Diego has to offer. The bustle of a big city that provides attractions that people from all over the U.S. come to see, such as Sea World or the San Diego Zoo, is something that is hard to beat. And even though the city is spread out, there is always something to do and somewhere such as Balboa Park or Seaport Village. But my curiosity to find more in Tucson drove me to discover new opportunities. One of the best things I have to say about this city is, obviously, the University of Arizona. Even though Tucson may be rough around the edges, on game days everyone comes together in this Wildcat Country to show support for their Wildcats. The support from the community is a beautiful sight to see. You may think that you’re a complete stranger to everyone, but when it comes down to it everyone always has that one thing in common: love for their Wildcats. I hear stories from my hometown friends that stayed to go to school in San Diego and I can tell that I made the right education choice as the opportunities that the University provides seem to be endless. Here at the U of A I am able to get a higher education that is well known, as well as engage in other activities that are accepting of new members such as working at the radio station, and creating various short films at the University’s film organization (U.F.O). I am still in my first year and I have already had the chance to take part in an internship for marketing at Imagine Greater Tucson through the Provost Leadership Academy. Looking back, I have no regrets on my decision to come here; the University is exactly what I wanted in an education and more.
As for the city itself, Tucson still does not come close to San Diego. However, even though I have not been a here that long, I know that there has been a lot of construction occurring and many more projects to come that will help make the city and its surrounding region more appealing to its residents. One of the major projects that I have been interested in is the building of the streetcar. As an out-of-state student, transportation is a key element to a good college choice. The streetcar sounds like it could be very beneficial for exploring Tucson beyond the boundaries of the University area. The only flaws seem to be the distance restriction on the streetcar. Many students live off campus in various parts of the city and the streetcar will not go through their neighborhoods. Also, it seems that the overall project seems to be pushing back further and further, and based on an article in the Daily Wildcat, I learned that the streetcar will not be done until the second quarter of 2014. All in all, I am still very excited for what is to come of this city. With the help and dedication from its citizens, Tucson is looking toward a bright future.
Even with all the improvements I know Tucson will have made by my graduation, it pains me to say that once I finish my undergraduate program here I will most likely leave. Not because of the University or because of the city, but because of future goals that I must obtain elsewhere. Expanding your borders beyond the confinements of any city whether it is San Diego or Tucson, I believe is important to everyone. It leads to new opportunities, new cultures, new environments, and knowledge that become irreplaceable. If I did choose to stay, I know there would be a lot of options for career paths here in Tucson. If anything, I would love to work in business somewhere in Downtown Tucson. Downtown is already a great place to be and is a wonder missed by many people who come to Tucson. With all the future downtown projects drawing new businesses and growing current business, it would be an ideal place to continue my career path. However, I still plan to travel to different cities to experience the opportunities they have to offer. I am sure that eventually I will come back at least to visit, and maybe even proudly call Tucson home.
Article submitted courtesy of Jake Gonzalez» Read More
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The resources presented in this section seek to highlight how communities and universities interact. This is not intended as an exhaustive list, only as a sample of some of the work and discussion occurring in this area. If you know of other resources that you would like to see featured on this page, please submit a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Town-Gown Collaboration in Land Use and Development
- The University of Arizona Economic and Tax Revenue Impacts FY 2004
- College Towns Draw Those Seeking Active Retirement
- UA Downtown Launches Sustainable City Project