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RUNNING HEAD: IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

November 23, 2014


Provost Eric Jensen
English 1800
Hamline University
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
Dear Provost Jensen,
On October 5, 2014 I requested permission to research the feasibility of improving the Hamline
Midway neighborhood surrounding Hamline University into a more conducive environment for
college students. I was granted permission and I immediately began researching ways the
neighborhoods surrounding colleges are important to the students experience at the university.
In my proposal I promised that I would have my report completed by November 23. I have
attached my completed report in the following pages.
The inspiration for this topic extends farther than this class. The awareness of the neighborhoods
surrounding college campuses became important to me during my college application process in
high school. With each university I visited or applied to as a high school student, I took into
account the general feeling of the campus and the area surrounding it. The Hamline University
campus is one in which I feel incredibly safe, but the moment I leave the campus that feeling of
security begins to vanish. When I was prompted to investigate something affecting my college
community this topic was an important one to menot only to complete the assignment but to
satisfy my intellectual curiosity on the subject.
In order to determine if the notion of improving the Hamline Midway neighborhood into a more
conducive environment for college students was feasible or not I began researching the
importance of the town, and moreover, the neighborhood in the students experience at the
university. Then I began reviewing case studies published by other universities regarding their
neighborhoods and communities. After my research painted a vivid image of the importance of
the neighborhood a college and the necessary steps required to improve those neighborhoods, I
distributed a questionnaire to 23 of my peers. The results of my questionnaire indicated that the
businesses around Hamline University do not provide services for college students. My research
also indicated that the businesses used by Hamline University students are not close enough to be
accessible to all studentsespecially students without their own means of transportation. This
study aims to investigate the feasibility, if any, of improving the Hamline Midway neighborhood
and the businesses within it into a neighborhood which is more conducive for university
students.
I hope you find that the following pages answer my posed feasibility question.

Sincerely,
Charlie Shafer

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Improving the Hamline Midway Neighborhood:


A Feasibility Study
English 1800
Krista Soria
Hamline University
November 23, 2014

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Abstract
The Midway neighborhood needs to be improved, and Hamline University should use its
resources to improve it. This paper investigates the feasibility of Hamline University being able
to improve the Midway neighborhood. This paper calls upon the responses of Hamline
University students, crime reports, and case studies of colleges that have launched neighborhood
revitalization projects to answer this feasibility question. This research paper demonstrates that
universities have the potential to improve neighborhoods, improve local economy, increase local
GDP, create jobs, and decrease local crime. Hamline University has the resources and potential
to do all of these things; furthermore, it is feasible for Hamline University to improve The
Midway neighborhood.

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 5
Methods........................................................................................................................................... 7
Research Criteria ............................................................................................................................. 7
Research Results ............................................................................................................................. 8
Conclusions ................................................................................................................................... 11
Recommendations ......................................................................................................................... 13
References ..................................................................................................................................... 15

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Introduction
The relationship between the community a university inhabits and the university itself is
important. Town-gown relationships have the potential to enhance communities (Fisk, 2002).
There is something to be learned from town-gown relationships. American college towns are
interesting towns with unique characteristics; for example, the residents of college towns are
often highly educated. Gumprecht (2003) wrote that adult residents in college towns are more
than twice as likely as the overall U.S. population and residents of similarly sized cities to
possess a college degree and seven times more likely to hold a doctorate (p. 54). Hamline
University is located in St. Paul, Minnesota and occupies part of the Hamline Midway
neighborhood. The town in which a college is located plays an important role in the experience
students have at a university and Hamline University has the potential to improve the Hamline
Midway neighborhood for its students and the community.
College can be a stressful experience, especially for those attending universities in urban
towns. Urban towns offer more to distract students from their coursework, including safety
(Ellett, 2006). The Hamline Midway neighborhood is one that is not conducive for a friendly,
nurturing college environment. The crime in the Hamline Midway neighborhood makes it
unsafe. In between September 3, 2013 and today, there have been 30 instances of auto theft, 35
narcotics violations, 168 thefts, 56 burglaries, 32 cases of vandalism, 35 robberies, 16 firearms
discharges, and six instances of rape (Crime Report, 2013). College is stressful enough for
students. Students should not be further stressed by crime in their neighborhood on top of
classes, work, and adjusting to living on their own. College students deserve the assurance of a
safe environment to call their home throughout their time at the university.

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

The businesses in the Hamline Midway neighborhood are not enticing to college
students. In a questionnaire given to Hamline University students only about 10% of students
responded that they shop in the immediate neighborhood surrounding Hamline University. There
are not enough shops or services offered to Hamline students in the Hamline Midway
neighborhood. In 2008, college students possessed $237 billion of spending power in the
economy (Marketing Management, 2008). Like any other generation, college students are
consumers. If the Midway neighborhood does not offer services or businesses students would
utilize, then Hamline students will bring their business to other neighborhoods. The Midway
neighborhood would benefit economically by bringing in businesses marketed towards college
students to tap into some of the buying power held by Hamline students.
Because of the importance of the neighborhoods surrounding college campuses,
universities have invested time and money into improving their neighborhoods. Rhodes College,
The University of Chicago, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Marquette are
only a few of many examples this paper will discuss of universities that have made it a project to
improve their neighborhoods. It is important for Universities to maintain the neighborhoods they
inhabit. This paper will discuss reasons why Hamline University should improve the Midway
neighborhood for its students and staff, the future of the university, and the future of the
neighborhood. In the following pages you will find the methodology I used to conduct my
research, the results of my research, and future recommendations.

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Methods
My research consisted of the following:

I created and distributed a questionnaire to 23 of my peers.

I analyzed the data from the questionnaire and prepared graphical data to support my
investigation.

I researched and reviewed case studies of other universities with similar neighborhood
restoration projects.

I investigated the crime reports for the last year in the neighboring area.

I interviewed Provost Eric Jensen to discuss the possibility of Hamline University


expanding into the Hamline Midway neighborhood.

Research Criteria
My research was conducted and evaluated on the grounds of the following criteria:

Is there a need to improve the Hamline Midway neighborhood surrounding Hamline


University?

Is it important that Hamline University be a part of a safe and modern neighborhood?

Would Hamline students and faculty benefit from improving the Midway neighborhood?

Would Hamline students and faculty support improving the Midway neighborhood?

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

Research Results
Universities generate knowledge and human capital in local regions they occupy,
especially metropolitan areas (Abel & Deitz, 2012). Human capital also influences local
economic activity. There is a direct correlation between the number of people in an area that
have college degrees and the areas annual GDP (Abel & Dietz, 2012). The more people that hold
college degrees in an area directly influences the areas GDP. With college students living in a
concentrated arealike college campuses there is more potential for human capital and as a
result, local economic growth. This human capital and potential for economic growth is
important in the Hamline Midway neighborhood.
The potential to improve the Hamline Midway neighborhood does not only fall into the
hands of the university itself but indirectly into the hands of the students that graduate from
Hamline. Abel and Dietz (2012) reported that the majority of metropolitan areas62 percent
produce more human capital than they can consume (p.4). If Hamline University is producing
more graduates than St. Paul can keep here we are losing out on human capital and local
economic growth needed to improve the neighborhood. Sometimes after graduation graduates
just choose not to stay near the university they attended. Other times college graduates are forced
to relocate because of a lack of jobs in the area (Abel & Dietz, 2012). Hamline University will
not keep its students or college graduates living in the area after graduation when 80% percent of
students admit that they do not feel safe in the neighborhood or that their safety depends on the
time of day.
In my research I created a questionnaire and distributed it to my peers. My peers
answered questions regarding their overall safety in the neighborhood and improvements that
could be made to the neighborhood. Figure 1 illustrates how Hamline students feel in regards to
their safety in the Hamline Midway neighborhood. Twenty percent of Hamline students admitted

IMPROVING THE MIDWAY

to feeling safe in the neighborhood surrounding Hamline University while 80% of students
reported that they do not feel safe in the neighborhood or their feelings of safety depend on the
time of day. This statistic demonstrates that there is a need to improve safety in the Hamline
Midway neighborhood surrounding campus.

Figure 1. This diagram illustrates which percentage of students recorded if they feel safe or not
in the Hamline Midway neighborhood.

Hamline is not the only university to struggle with their neighborhood. Many other
universities are dealing with similar issues in their campus neighborhoods. A perfect example of
this is Marquette University, which was losing applicants, revenue, and staff because of the
unsafe, rundown neighborhood their campus occupied. At one point Marquette was forced close
multiple dormitory buildings and lay off staff as a measure to prevent bankruptcy (Der Werf,
1999). To save the college, Marquette decided to take the neighborhood into their own hands.

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So, in 1992 and 1993 the university bought 115 properties and spent $50 million dollars cleaning
up the neighborhood. As a result, crime in the neighborhood has decreased 50 percent. By
investing in their neighborhood and offering help to the community the neighborhood
surrounding Marquette University is improving (Der Werf, 1999). In the years following their
neighborhood revitalization, Marquette University reported record numbers of applicants (Der
Werf, 1999). Hamline Universitys situation is not nearly as desperate as Marquettes situation;
however, Marquette provides us with a great example of how a university invested into its
neighborhood to better the community and as a result, the college.
The Midway neighborhood does not have services, businesses, or shops enticing to
college students. In my questionnaire 54% of respondents reported that they shop in the Midway
area; however, of the 54% of respondents that shop in the Midway area 100% of them only shop
for food or groceries in the Midway area. The only shopping Hamline students are doing in The
Midway is for food and groceriesand more specifically they only shop at Walmart or Target.
There is also a lack of shops Hamline students can walk to from campus in under 10 minutes.
When students were asked if they would want to see more shops within walking distance from
campus 100% responded yes. If every Hamline student who completed this questionnaire
reported that they want more shops within walking distance from campus then there is no
question regarding Hamline student support for this initiative.
After 100% of respondents reported that they want more businesses within walking
distance offered in the Hamline Midway neighborhood, I proceeded to investigate which types of
services they desire. In another question in my survey students were asked to choose multiple
types of services they would like to be offered within walking distance from the Hamline
campus. The data reports that Hamline students would not like to see an increase of just one

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specific service offered but many different types of services. My data reveals that 82% of
students responded that they would like to see increased dining options in the Midway
neighborhood, 62% of students want to see increased apparel shopping options in the Midway,
and 87% would like to see more than just one specific type of service offered. It is apparent that
Hamline University students desire more services offered for them in the Hamline Midway
neighborhood, specifically shops and services within walking distance.

Figure 3. Illustrates the percentage of students that shared which types of services they want
more of in the immediate area around Hamline.

Universities create jobs and economic growth in local communities. The impact
universities have on local economies is measured in something universities are beginning to
create called, economic impact reports (Garrido-Yserte, 2010). Garrido-Yserte (2010) reported
that universities have a large impact on local, regional economies (p.42). Universities effect local
economies because they require local employees, services, and goods from neighborhoods in

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order to operate. For example, the consumer demands of students, faculty, and visitors of
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg have indirectly been the result of over 200 start-up
businesses being created over the last 15 years (Fischer, 2010). Also in the last 15 years Fortune
500 corporations like Google and Apple have opened branches in empty office spaces near the
university. Now, as a result, 20% of Carnegie Mellons graduates stay in in the area after
graduation, compared to 8% before (Fischer, 2010).
University faculty, students, and visitors all consume from local markets. Universities
like Penn State, The University of Chicago, and Macalester College are only a few examples of
colleges that have created miniature shopping centers nearby their campuses that cater to their
students, faculty, and visitors partly as a measure to compensate for their consumption demands
(Harris, 1997). Hamline students, faculty, and visitors are all consumersif Hamline University
can invest in bringing shops and services that are marketed towards the college demographic it
would benefit the university, the neighborhood, and the local economy. Right now the Hamline
Midway neighborhood is not reaching consumer needs that Hamline faculty, staff, students, and
visitors need.

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Conclusions
Universities must pay attention to the effect their neighborhoods have on their university.
The neighborhood a college is a part of effects students experiences, crime, local economies,
and the overall appearance and atmosphere of the university. I will even extend that the
neighborhood a college is a part of also effects the longevity of the university. My research
results indicated that 80% of Hamline students do not feel safe in the Midway neighborhood
surrounding campus, there are not enough shops or services within walking distance offered in
the area surrounding Hamline for students, and that 100% of Hamline students are in support of
bringing in more shops and services into the Midway area. Ultimately my research indicates that
The Midway neighborhood is not meeting adequate safety and consumer needs for Hamline
students but it can be improved to benefit the university and the community.
Colleges and Universities, with their resources and human capital, have the potential to
generate positive change and growth in local neighborhoods and communities. Universities are
exempt from taxes which places them in a position to more easily buy property; furthermore,
universities also have the human capital and resources to utilize that property for economic gain.
It is feasible for Hamline University to improve the Midway neighborhood. Hamline University
has the resources, student support, human capital, and potential to improve the Hamline Midway
neighborhood for the better of the community and as an opportunity to generate revenue. If
Hamline University uses it resources to purchase properties on Snelling Avenue bordering
campus, it would improve safety in the neighborhood, create jobs, increase the local GDP,
improve the student experience, keep graduates in the area after graduation, generate revenue for
Hamline, and benefit the local economy.

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Recommendations
Is it Hamline Universitys responsibility to improve the Midway neighborhood? Maybe
not, but it can be. We can make it our responsibility. Who is in a better position to improve the
neighborhood: Hamline University or The City of St. Paul? I believe Hamline should make it our
responsibility to improve the Midway neighborhood, and I think John Wesley would agree. My
first recommendations for Hamline improving the Midway neighborhood are as follows:

Conduct further research and create an economic impact report for Hamline
University to determine our impact on the Midway neighborhood.

Allocate funds to invest in the Midway neighborhood.

Purchase properties on Snelling Avenue with those funds.

Place Hamline University buildings and or facilities across Snelling Avenue.

I understand that Hamline University may not have the capital now to undertake
purchasing properties on Snelling Avenue but I think a project like this should be included in
Hamlines twenty-year plan.
Eric, I asked you in an interview if extending across Snelling Avenue was something in
the plans for Hamline University in the next twenty years, but you said it was not. I hope with
this paper and my research I have at least given you enough to consider extending Hamlines
presence by placing Hamline buildings and facilities across from Snelling Avenue in the next
twenty years.

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References
Abel, J. R., & Deitz, R. (2011). The Role of Colleges and Universities in Building Local Human
Capital. Current Issues In Economics & Finance, 17(6), 1-7.
Big bucks on campus. (2008). Marketing Management, 17(5), 4.
Der Werf, M. (1999). Urban Universities Try New Ways to Reach Out to Their
Communities. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 45(34), A37.
Ellett, T. (2006). Challenges for Urban Institutions: Creating Community and
Personal Connections. 23-31.
Fischer, K. (2010). Towns, Gowns, and Taxes. (Cover story). Chronicle Of Higher Education,
56(21), A1-A32.
Fiske, A. (2002). Using individualism and collectivism to compare culturesA critique of the
validity andmeasurement of constructs. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 7888.
doi:10.1037/00332909.128.1.78,Comment on Oyerstman et al.
Garrido-Yserte, R., & Gallo-Rivera, M. T. (2010). The impact of the university upon local
economy: three methods to estimate demand-side effects. Annals Of Regional Science, 44(1),
39-67. doi:10.1007/s00168-008-0243-x
Gumprecht, B. (2003). THE AMERICAN COLLEGE TOWN(*). Geographical Review, 93(1),
51-80.
Harris, R. D. (1997). The Impact of the University of Portsmouth on the Local Economy. Urban
Studies (Routledge), 34(4), 605-626. doi:10.1080/0042098975943