Students, administration discuss issues concerning Marshall, Huntington at Coffee with the Mayor


Trey Delida

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert, Student Body Vice President Hannah Petracca and Student Body President Hunter Barclay discuss issues concerning the Marshall and Huntington communities at Coffee with the Mayor Jan. 19.


Marshall University students voiced concerns and asked questions to Huntington Mayor Steve Williams Tuesday, Jan. 19, when he set up in the Memorial Student Center for a Coffee with the Mayor event. 

Williams said he and the mayor’s office make a monthly effort to come to Marshall’s campus because Marshall has always been an integral part of his career. 

“Seven years ago, I was running for mayor for the first time, and I came on campus, asking for help in my campaign,” Williams said. “I realized if I was going to come on campus and ask for help, then I needed to keep coming back and be providing my assistance.”

Many of the changes the university has seen on campus have actually been discussed over coffee with Williams, he said. 

“I learn something new every time I’m here,” Williams said. “A lot of things we have done, [like] lighting around the campus, inspections of rental property to make sure they are up to code for students, even assistance that our police department can provide.”

All of this, Williams said, is done for the safety of students.

Marshall President Jerry Gilbert also typically attends the event, he said, and encourages students to do the same.

“I think students should realize that we have an opportunity in Huntington, that a lot of other universities and cities don’t have, and that is to have a mayor who is willing to interact with our students, who supports our students, who sees that value in higher education, and the value of having an institution like Marshall in his city,” Gilbert said.

Williams said he values students’ opinions and said he views them not only as students but as Huntington residents. 

“As soon as they walk off campus, they’re mine. On campus, I still consider them mine,” Williams said. “I need to make sure that I’m better aware of the needs of the students, faculty and members of the administration.”

Trey Delida can be contacted at [email protected]