Students participate in the economies of college towns, both as consumers and employees, which benefits non-student residents of these towns. “College campuses and educational institutions can bolster the economies of small towns that otherwise would be struggling like many other rural locations throughout the country” Residents of rural college towns like Mansfield are typically small local business owners or University faculty, so campus life and the presence of students creates a booming community and economy in Mansfield that would not exist without the presence of UConn in the town.
Despite concerns regarding the effects of inconsistent college student presence on local businesses, this is the condition under which college-town businesses must operate. Business owners cannot expect students to be active participants in the local economy when school is not in session, Mansfield business owners should adjust their business operations to maximize profit during school breaks when students will generally be off-campus. When school is in session, however, student customers are a major source of profit for these businesses.
Living near a big sports school like UConn comes with perks. The state-wide excitement over UConn sports revolves around the Storrs campus so nearby non-student residents, especially UConn fans, have a unique experience during college basketball season.
While there are non-student residents of Mansfield who are unsatisfied with the presence of college social life in the town, UConn students, as a whole, are not a threat or hazard to the town of Mansfield. UConn Police have been strictly monitoring off-campus social events to enforce underage drinking laws and noise complaints from nearby residents. In comparison to many other schools in New England and the rest of the country, UConn’s party scene is considerate of the college town’s non-student residents.
UConn is an important contributor to Mansfield’s economy, population, and culture. Rather than focusing on rare incidents of rowdiness, the UConn community (students and faculty) have made Mansfield an economically flourishing town with a growing population with a front-seat experience of sporting events.