Students at USU Eastern are often discounted by Price and its residents. This is a lack of judgment on both sides. Students can do a lot to help their community if given guidance.
Recently on campus, there was a Community Education Dinner presented by the Carbon & Emery Opioid & Substance Abuse Coalition. I am pretty involved in the community and the coalition so knew when it was going on. The event had a good turnout due to the diverse advertising done by the coalition, but few college students were in attendance.
I’ve been active in the community for six months and often see a lack of student representations and there are two main factors causing this.
1. Community members don’t think college students are interested.
2. College students don’t think they are wanted or welcomed. I do think there are some people in the community that would rather not have students involved in community affairs and sometimes their voices get heard over everyone else’s.
When I talked to students about community boards, coalitions and activities, they get excited about attending and interacting with the community, but ultimately get stopped in their tracks.
An example is I attended a community meeting a couple a weeks ago to honor a business. The business owner started his speech by talking ill of the then chancellor of USU Eastern. I was so taken aback and everyone’s laughter in the room as he blatantly disrespected prominent members of USU Eastern. I would assume the speaker didn’t know I was student body president at the time, but still it was amazing to hear.
Contrasting this to the Community Education Dinner(CED) where students were welcomed and encouraged to attend. Not only was the event on campus, but student interns running the welcoming booth and there was extra space in the room for people who didn’t RSVP online but still wanted to attend.
The event was open to everyone, all community members with no exceptions to students, but there was still a lack of students there.
As I am about to walk into the CED I see a friend in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center, I walk past the CED welcome desk. He asks me what I am doing there and tell him that he should attend. He was very interested and attended the 2 ½- hour event happily. This is a case of a student thinking the event wasn’t for him, he saw the fancy food and table set up and assumed he wasn’t welcomed.
Students have more power than they or the community knows and I think it’s time that power is put to some good.
The CED was to educate the community about the opioid epidemic in Carbon & Emery counties and think this information can be powerful in the hands of students who have contact with people all across the state.
Students at USU Eastern will be entering diverse career fields and have the chance to educate anyone they come in contact with spreading a message of health and safety.
Price and USU Eastern students can have an amazing opportunity to serve and help each other grow. I think it’s about time we build a relationship.