The Parthenon

Caffeinated Conversations

Emily Rice, Reporter

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Huntington Mayor Steve
Williams visited Marshall University’s
campus Tuesday for
the last Coffee with the Mayor
event of the semester.
“This is my favorite time of
the month,” Williams said. “I
get here, and I am able to talk
business, but I am able to be on
campus. It always lifts me up.”
Many different types of people
attended this particular
forum, from faculty and students
to residents of Huntington, according to Bryan
Chambers, director of communications for the city of
Huntington.
“While it is predominately students who are coming
in and chatting, we also find that faculty and
administrators take part in it as well,” Chambers said.
“The dean of the College of Business came in a little
bit ago to discuss some economic development opportunities,
so it is very encouraging to see not just
students take part, but also faculty, administrators
and staff.”
While they have appreciated the enthusiastic turnouts
at the events in the past, Chambers said it is not
the numbers that count.
“Even if just five people come up and share their
input, it is worth it, because it is five more people
that now have a voice,” Chambers said.
The event is not only important to Huntington’s
government, but to Marshall’s Student Government
Association as well, according to Student Body President
Duncan Waugman.
“When the mayor came into office, he knew that
he wanted to make a relationship with Marshall University,
and he went to the student government to
do that,” Waugman said. “E.J. Hassan was the president
before me. He set up this event and we have
been able to continue it, and it is awesome because
the mayor loves to come here and meet anyone who
wants to talk to him.”
Waugman said the last coffee event was particularly
important because of the upcoming winter
break.
“Even though we are not going to be at school,
we still have a lot of students that are a part of the
Huntington community,” Waugaman said. “This is a
chance for them to come and talk to the mayor and
express some concerns and tell him what he is doing
a good job on, because he is doing a very good job.”
Even first time attendees to the event walked away
with a great impression of Mayor Williams and the event.
“This is my first one,” said Mallory Norton, business
management junior. “He is very personable,
very outgoing and he makes you feel comfortable. It
is really more laid back than you
would expect.”
Williams said the issues that
come up at every monthly Coffee
with the Mayor are different.
“We start seeing trends with the
seasons,” Williams said. “People
are now concerned about how
we are going to handle the streets
once the weather starts getting really
bad.”
Attendees were also concerned
with Huntington’s ongoing battle
against drugs.
“I had some people talking about
wanting to understand what we are doing about the
drug issue,” Williams said. “They came to say thank
you, but they really didn’t know the details, so we
talked to them about how we are doing it.”
Williams also said the city has made some improvements
as a result of hearing the concerns of
students and faculty.
“Safety around campus is still a concern,” Williams
said. “We put additional lighting on Fifth Avenue and
Third Avenue and increased our patrols in the area.”
These types of forums allow the city to stay in tune
with the needs of its citizens, and in this case, the
needs of its students.
“I look forward to being here, it helps me stay in
touch at Marshall, and now I get so that I see students
that I know,” Williams said. “I am seeing friends. I am
not just that one old guy over there with a suit on,
they know that I am their mayor and I am visiting
with my constituents.”
Emily Rice can be contacted at [email protected]
edu.

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