Wabash Students Engage Community on Abuse
by Cole Crouch ‘17
February 6, 2014
In 2012, Montgomery County was given a “Top 25 Percent” overall priority drug problem rating based on comparisons with all Indiana Counties,” according to Montgomery County Community Conversations Initiative. Montgomery County rated in the top 25 percent of counties for marijuana, heroin, and cocaine use and arrests. The Indiana State Police seized 27 methamphetamine labs. There were 48 prescription drug overdose deaths. One community group is trying to take action.
Wabash College students involved themselves in meaningful action by facilitating conversations to determine the best approaches for solving the problem of substance abuse. Now, led by Wabash Rhetoric Professors and community organizations, the conversations have continued into 2014.
“These meetings were brought about by community members who expressed a need to learn more information about what is already being done in the community to address substance abuse and what are some of the challenges and areas of need,” said Professor of Rhetoric Todd McDorman. “The purpose of these continuing meetings has been to expand the larger interest the college has in relations with the community, and also give students opportunities to engage in meaningful action.”
In January, two separate educational meetings provided opportunities for community members to hear from law enforcement and treatment recovery groups. Jennifer Abbott, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Department Chair, compiled all notes and information and made them available on the website.
The final meeting is 6:30pm, tonight in the Crawfordsville Public Library Donnelly Room, and the conversation will focus on youth abuse. All community members and students are welcome to come and participate in the final conversation. Also, the final meeting will allow community members an opportunity to form action groups. These groups will form, “…to create social events, become mentors, or determine transportation coordination,” McDorman said.
“This community has a wide range of people who are willing to contribute,” said Brock Graham ’09, Outreach Pastor at Rockpoint Church. “I think if I could go back to Wabash again, I would challenge and encourage guys to get out into the community. I think it is so easy while you’re at Wabash to just stay in the Wabash Bubble. Instead, I would jump in and help us solve these problems.”