Downtown is reaching out for Bradley students

The Peoria Downtown Advisory Commission wants Bradley students to know they can always go downtown.

“Last spring we sent out a survey to students asking them how often they go downtown, what do they do there and what other cities they like and why,” Alison Daley, a member of the commission, said. “The survey revealed that the students aren’t very sure what’s available downtown or how to get there. So, this semester we’re trying to spread the word.”

Daley reached out to Renee Charles, the executive director of public relations at Bradley. Charles has been assisting the commission, although she said this initiative is not necessarily a partnership between Bradley University administration and the Downtown Advisory Commission.

“I’m just helping them find the right students to get in touch with so that they can spread the word and learn more about what downtown has to offer,” Charles said.

Charles said she directed the commission to Student Senate and several other student activities organizations.

“Daley will be presenting during the upcoming general assembly,” Shiva Lennon-Rios, student senate vice President of City and Local Affairs, said. “After that, she and I are hoping to host an open forum sometime this semester. The forum would be directed at the broader Bradley community.”

Daley said the initiative is about helping businesses market themselves more successfully toward Bradley, as well as create enticing opportunities, like Bradley discounts, to further encourage students.

“We’ve been brainstorming ‘Bradley Day’,” Daley said. “We’d arrange for some type of transportation between the university and downtown, offer a bunch of discounts to students and maybe have some music as well. We’re still brainstorming, and the earliest this could happen is in the spring.”

Daley said the end goal of the initiative is to retain more Bradley students in Peoria after they graduate.

“We want them to know that Peoria is actually a very livable city, and that there is a lot of it they haven’t seen yet,” Daley said.

Daley said the commission is very open to new ideas, and she said she encourages students to send their suggestions to bustudentfeedback@gmail.com. The emails will be complied each month and then presented to the Downtown Advisory Commission.