WISH YOU WERE A CHIPPEWA? Students have mixed reaction to Mount Pleasant's offerings
Students may acknowledge and relish the small-town feel Mount Pleasant offers, but the heart of the community is largely ignored.
“Mount Pleasant is small enough where I feel at home, but big enough where I can still spread my wings,” said Oakland senior Lindsay Da Silva.
When deciding between Central Michigan University and Michigan State University, she said CMU had what she was looking for in a campus and community.
“East Lansing was way too big,” she said. “I love Mount Pleasant, love the town, love the people.”
For Linden freshman Danielle Starrs, Mount Pleasant had the small-town feel that reminded her of home.
Being without a car, Starrs said she appreciates how everything she needs can be found on Mission Street.
“Everything is here, so it makes it nice,” she said.
While Starrs said she feels everything is located on Mission Street, others know there is more to Mount Pleasant than just the busy road with fast food chains.
Grand Rapids senior Michael Hoover said as a freshman, he didn’t know about the community.
“I never even went to the downtown area,” he said.
Gradually, he said he got more involved in the community as the years progressed, and he’s thankful he grasped that opportunity.
“I really like Mount Pleasant because of the size,” he said. “It would be difficult to drive around and not see someone you know.”
Hoover said college is what you make it. Some people are only involved in the party scene and everything outside of Mission Street is foreign to them, he said.
“You can involve yourself in the community and see what the community has to offer,” he said.
He said there is a disconnection between CMU and the community.
“The city and Central need to work a little harder to get people downtown,” he said.
Starrs said she hasn’t really been downtown yet, except when she runs.
Grand Blanc senior Megan Parrish said she sees potential in the downtown, but as of now, it’s not large enough.
“People just don’t know about downtown,” she said. “No one goes there.”
But some feel students are missing out.
“There are a lot of treasures down there,” Da Silva said.
Davison senior Emily Edmonds said she likes how Mount Pleasant resembles her hometown, but it does have downfalls.
“I like the small-town feel,” she said. “But I wish it was little bigger of a city. We are in the middle of nowhere.”
“I wish Mount Pleasant was something that it’s not,” she said. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary."
While some students don’t venture farther than McDonald's on Mission Street, other students decide to try some of the staple restaurants Mount Pleasant has to offer.
Max & Emily’s, 125 E. Broadway St., is one of Edmond’s favorite places to grab some food, she said.
Houghton said she used to eat at the Embers until it went out of business, but found a new love for the Grotto, 304 W. Broomfield Road.
Hoover said he enjoys eating at Stan’s, 220 E. Broadway St.
“Stan’s is such a cute ma-and-pa kind of place,” Da Silva said.
Bars and nightlife
Not everyone is happy with the choices Mount Pleasant offers for bars and nightlife.
“Most of the time I go to O’Kelly’s, just because it’s close,” Edmonds said. “I do wish taxis were cheaper. I would bar-hop more.”
Parrish said the bars are lacking diversity.
“It’s like, ‘Hey, I’m a freshman, and I’m drunk. Let’s go to Wayside,’” she said.
Edmonds said she likes the spots around town that suit the college lifestyle. She spends a lot of time at The Cabin because of the atmosphere.
Parrish said The Cabin, 930 W. Broomfield Road, is one place she feels is perfect for her at CMU.
Edmonds said although she likes The Cabin, she would like to spend more time at the bars downtown.
Da Silva said while The Bird Bar & Grill, 223 S. Main St., and The Blackstone, 212 W. Michigan St., are at the top of her list, The Cabin is her all-time favorite.
“The Cabin is the place to be,” she said.
Hoover said The Bird Bar & Grill is his typical hangout spot, and he also enjoys getting to know the bartenders.
“I’m not a clubbing kind of person,” he said. “I like how there are a couple clubs and the rest are bars.”
The Bird Bar & Grill is a place to reminisce about with alumni since it has been here for years, he said.
“It’s a legacy,” he said.