The harsh realties of the economic downturn’s effect on Putnam County often go unnoticed at DePauw.
But with the recent string of Greencastle businesses closing their doors, those realities have been thrown into sharp relief.
The Monon Restaurant, which served as an enduring tie between all members of the Greencastle community — including this university — closed with little warning on Monday.
Soon, those taking refuge in the A-Way Home Shelter will be turned out on the streets.
Abandoned and stray animals will have no haven, when the Humane Society of Putnam County, where many DePauw students volunteered, finally closes its doors.
We live, like many other Americans, in a community that struggles. Especially now, the residents of Putnam County feel that weight.
We’re glad the university takes a global approach to its philanthropic endeavors. Student organizations such as Building Tomorrow and programs such as Servicio en las Americas do great things, and the students who participate in them should be proud of what they accomplish.
Still, we can’t help but wonder what kind of stewards we are to our local community. We are so eager and capable of finding resources to send to those in need overseas, but we can’t seem to scrape together enough for those next door.
Service events hosted by greek houses only go so far. They raise the necessary funds but don’t get the entire community involved.
Greencastle is our home. We should feel socially responsible for what happens here, too. What can be done from this point in time is unclear, but we hope that all members of the DePauw community share this same sense of commitment.
What can we do to help these local charities sustain themselves? How can the campus’s generally inspiring commitment to philanthropy translate into both local and global benefit? How can we play a more active role in supporting local businesses? These are big questions, but finding their answers and acting upon them would benefit the entire community, of which DePauw is only a part.
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