Pictured above: From left to right front row: Katie Schupbach, Cecilee Russell, Zane Colvn, Jackson Steiner, Shealyn Madison, Felisha Perrodin. From left to right back row: Zach Hall, Hannah Alexander, Mitchell Foster.

By Katie Schupbach
Resident Assistant
Maple Hill West

This year’s Civic Engagement program educated students about their local government and allowed them to witness how it works through a two-part program.

Upon arrival at Fayetteville City Hall via shuttle, students were given a tour by Dede Peters, Fayetteville’s community outreach coordinator. One of the many places students saw on the tour included the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and mapping department where they learned interesting facts about the jobs of the department. One of the jobs of this department is naming streets and numbering addresses.

As the tour finished up, the city council meeting prepared to meet. Students got to sit amongst citizens waiting to present their bills to the city council and were even recognized by the mayor before beginning the meeting.

Speeches were made before the council, including a presentation on the design for a new cultural art center in downtown Fayetteville, and a request for approval of zoning to build new homes.

As the speeches wrapped up, the students loaded on to the shuttle and headed to U.S. Pizza for dinner and a debrief of the city council meeting.

“Everyone was really passionate about what they spoke about!” said attendee Zane Colvin, a freshman living in Hotz Honors Hall.

“It was interesting to see the differences in problems here versus personal hometowns and how they handled them. I’m really excited to see what they will do!” said attendee Jackson Steiner, a freshman living in Maple Hill East.

The following Tuesday, students returned to city hall. They sat in on a meeting where the city council debated issues from the last meeting. One issue that was debated concerned the zoning of land to build new homes. Most opposed the new construction.

After the meeting, prizes were given out from University Housing to students in a drawing, and the recipients were Jackson Steiner, Zane Colven and Katie Loethen.

The first night of the Civic Engagement program was held Tuesday, Oct. 9.  The second night was heldTuesday, Oct. 16.