Sometimes college students get a bad rap, and community members focus on the negatives of living in a college town.
But staff members and residents at Park Place Senior Living think the positives of having a university campus here in Platteville far outweigh the negatives.
“UW–Platteville has so many resources available to the community,” said Angie Pierce, RN Administrator at Park Place. “The campus can provide a wealth of entertainment and educational programming as well as great volunteers. People just don’t always think about tapping into them.”
The residents at Park Place know firsthand about the benefits of a relationship with UW–Platteville. Since Park Place opened in 2008, Activity Director Patty Lange has worked diligently to connect with various campus organizations and individuals. Students have shared their time and talents, both one-on-one with residents or as part of a group. Organizations visit on a regular basis, including the Confucius Institute, which comes twice a year, and a number of fraternities and sororities that visit monthly.
“Today’s college student has so much on their plate — classes, working to pay for college, volunteering and being a part of groups that enhance their college experience,” said Lange. “So when they take time to visit us at Park Place, we are very thankful.”
Sigma Alpha Iota, the women’s music fraternity on campus, has performed at Park Place Memory Care almost every month for the past two years. Sometimes the members host a sing-a-long and sometimes they just sing for the residents. Either way, the residents love it and look forward to it.
“One thing we strive for as a fraternity is to bring our music into the community,” said Kaitlyn Rinka, service chair for the organization. “We recognize that not everyone can come to concerts or see people perform in our community, and I personally feel that everyone should be able to experience music wherever they may be.”
While Pierce is very thankful for the groups and individuals that are already coming to Park Place, she says there is always room for more.
“We would love to make a connection with some of the pre-health departments,” she said. “There are so many learning opportunities for these students in a community living environment.”
Pierce and Lange would also welcome presentations by professors – current or retired – who could share their knowledge and expertise.
“Our residents love staying connected to the Platteville community and learning about new places and things,” she said. “Is there a better place to learn from than UW–Platteville?”