Outsiders’ perspectives on Buffalo: Just what exactly do students who aren’t from the city think of the city?

By Abby Wojcik and Sydney Bucholtz

Features Editors

Canisius is known to have a large commuter population and CSA is one of the largest and most influential clubs on campus. However, there are students from outside Buffalo and outside New York who come to Canisius, as uncommon as that might seem. Taking a look at their knowledge and backgrounds as people coming from diverse places around the country, can bring a new perspective on the city we all experience in one way or another.

One student comes from four hours away for Canisius’ creative writing program. Junior Robin Burns grew up Smithville, OH, an Amish country about an hour south of Cleveland.
She described her hometown as “a pretty heavy farming community,” and “a really conservative area.” She recalls skipping the beginning part of class in high school to help her friend milk cows at her dairy farm.

A part of her motivation to come to Canisius had to do with advice she heard growing up that “If you don’t leave Ohio for college, you never will.” Her desire to experience a more diverse community and atmosphere brought Burns to Buffalo, NY where she continues to grow, learn and explore.

“I don’t really know where I’ll end up after graduation, but I would love to be in this area a little longer! I have serious wanderlust though, so I guess we’ll see how I feel after my senior year!” Burns said.

From a completely different state, freshman Claire Binghaman also travels roughly four hours to Canisius College for the communications program. She’s from State College, PA and describes it as “one of the safest towns in the country,” and “very home-y.”

As a town that exists primarily around the students of Penn State University, it is much duller during the summer when school isn’t in session. That’s one of the differences between there and Buffalo that Binghaman enjoys and loves about Buffalo.

“There are experiences I’ve had here that I could never have at home. It’s much less familiar, as it’s much larger to me, but it’s still inviting.”

She even hopes to stay in Buffalo during the summer to get to know the city better and fully emerge in the rust belt town.

There are also people who travel across oceans to Canisius. Senior accounting major Sarah Pike was born and raised in the town of Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii.

Pike transferred from Oregon to Canisius as a sophomore, making this her third consecutive year living in Buffalo. She emphasized that Hawaii and Buffalo are “very different.”

The only similarities she could think of between them are the horrible roads, many potholes, small airport, and the proximity to a body of water. Generally though, both places have a pride associated with them that makes her feel connected in a way to two seemingly opposite places.

Hawaii does not have sports teams to champion like Buffalo does in the Bills and Sabers, but Pike said that there is a pride and admiration for the island that has more to do with the culture, landscape, and traditions.

Experiencing all the differences between Buffalo’s bar food, Hawaii’s sushi and musubi, Buffalo’s winter, Hawaii’s beaches, and others, Pike has come to appreciate the pros and cons to each place.

“Each place that you go to is so different and you can learn so many different things. Each city has things that make it unique and you just have to find those things that make it special. It’s really fascinating to see the different cultures and how people socially interact when you go to different places.”

Pike is looking forward to being at the beach when she goes home for the upcoming spring break and to her job as federal auditor in Washington D.C. after she graduates in May.

From the renovated waterfront, to the restoration of architecture in the city, Buffalo is going through a resurgence. The coming generation’s inclination toward exploration and learning new places reinforce this change, and grow with the diverse, growing, evolving city that Buffalo is becoming.


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