A group of Western Illinois University students will have the city's ear as members of the Mayor's Roundtable of Student Leaders.
The effort was organized by WIU Student Government Association President Dovile Svirupskaite. She said Western’s President Jack Thomas similarly meets with about a dozen students on a regular basis to talk about student issues and how they can work together with the administration to resolve problems.
Svirupskaite chose 10 Western students to participate in the Mayor’s Roundtable. She said most are involved in student government.
“This will be a good way for the university students to work in the community as well so maybe start bringing issues students feel are important to students to the mayor. And have the mayor and us talk about them and see what we can do together and not just on the city side but also as students as well,” said Svirupskaite.
The students will meet privately with Mayor Mike Inman monthly. Inman said that Svirupskaite will set the agenda. He plans to have a candid discussion about anything the students want to talk about.
“They would bring things to my attention and I can share them with the council. The idea is to open the lines of communication as wide and as broad as possible and I think this sets the stage to do that very well,” Inman said.
In turn, the students will also learn more about city operations and be able to share the information with the rest of the student body.
This month students will learn more about local businesses from the president of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce. Next month, they’ll talk with Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker.
Inman said the Mayor’s Roundtable of Student Leaders consists of a diverse group of students from different backgrounds and socioeconomic standing.
The group has met once already and will continue to meet at City Hall on the last Wednesday of the month throughout the school year. Inman said he hopes to eventually take the meetings out into the community and have local businesses host.