The city of Flint is an integral part of UM-Flint campus life and UM-Flint curricula: the full UM-Flint experience.
We are proud of our urban location and our strong ties with the community we were establised to serve.
As students transition into adulthood, many desire to experience an authentic urban living situation. Among Michigan's public universities, UM-Flint's centrality to its city is matched only by that of Wayne State's to Detroit. Yet, Flint and UM-Flint afford this experience at a scale that may be a more comfortable fit.
The best way to combat negative perceptions of this city among those who have never set foot in it is to encourage them to do just that: visit Flint. Even life-long residents of Genesee County who have not been downtown in decades (yet are confident they have a firm grasp of its realities) should be encouraged to come for a visit and see all the efforts that are being made to transform the city. Introduce them to individuals working to make these changes reality. It is harder to badmouth something in front of the people doing the work to make it better. All campus communicators should familiarize themselves with the projects and people that personify Flint’s potential.
What better place to put knowledge to work than Flint, Michigan?
The recent addition of new businesses and events in the area have added new energy and vitality. However, in spite of many positive developments, challenges remain. Crime, high unemployment, and state intervention in the city's finances are realities that weigh into the perception that many have of Flint.
When pressed about this community's problems, the problems should be acknowledged. Every city has its share of issues, and Flint is no different. Our difference is our unshakeable spirit and sense of purpose that continues to propel the community forward. The University of Michigan-Flint is part of that positive momentum. After all, applying learning towards efforts to bring about positive changes is the goal of all academic disciplines all over the world.