Wabash Career Services Plans Community Fairby Wade Coggeshall • July 10, 2006
Wabash College tends to be its own community, with its students often isolated and unaware of their larger surroundings. By having a community fair, college officials are hoping to break down some of those barriers and strengthen ties between the school and its host town.
The First Annual Community Fair is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 28 on the campus mall, weather permitting. Participating businesses and organizations will be provided an 8-foot table and chairs. There is no cost, and free food, beverages and parking will be provided.
Scott Crawford, director of Wabash's Schroeder Career Center, said the fair should provide students useful information on what's available to them in Crawfordsville.
"A lot of the students have never been past three blocks from the school," he said. "They don't necessarily know what's going on in town."
John Moore, a career center intern who's coordinating the community fair, reiterated that assumption.
"We're very limited in our knowledge (from the student point of view) of what the community has," Moore said. "We don't get out necessarily unless we hear about something worth checking out. That usually comes from other students."
Moore has been courting participants the past few weeks. Many nonprofit groups have signed up so far. He'd like to get a similar response from local businesses. He encourages them to bring advertisements, brochures, coupons — anything that helps the students understand what goods and/or services they offer.
The community fair is not a career fair, which Wabash has on its schedule later in the year. "This is more like a 'here we are' kind of thing," Crawford said.
The advantage for community entities to take part is the "900 potential customers, plus the staff and faculty, who don't necessarily know everything here either," Crawford said. "This is great exposure."
"It'll tie the Crawfordsville and Wabash communities together," Moore said. "We're hoping to bridge those two neighboring but sometimes distant communities."
Those wishing to sign up for the community fair can call Moore or Toni McKinney at the Schroeder Center, 765-361-6414, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coggeshall is a reporter for the Crawfordsville Journal Review.