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Creating a college community

Restaurants, bars, and shops line Historic 25th Street in ogden.

A college town is defined as a town or city where the population is prominently college students. In Ogden’s case, it is a town in which the local university and the city work together to create a better environment for everyone.

The city of Ogden and Weber State University have a committee called the College Town Coalition. This committee consists of the top decision makers from both the city and WSU.

Individuals such as the mayor, WSU President Brad Mortenson and Director of WSU Athletics Tim Crompton, head the coalition to ensure the wellbeing of both parties are adequately represented.

“They help each other out with different initiatives and collectively work together to make Ogden better, to make Ogden a college town,” Brandon Garside, the marketing co-chair for the coalition, said.

The College Town Coalition works together to achieve 11 main goals in mind:
1. Reduce the carbon footprint of Ogden
2. Record regional economic development
3. Increase quality housing in East Central Ogden
4. Increase public transportation options
5. Work together on legislative topics of joint interest
6. Community Safety
7. Increase WSU student housing
8. Enhance youth recreation programs
9. Collaborate for arts and culture in Ogden
10. Support sporting events
11. Provide learning opportunities for Weber State leadership

The accomplishment of these goals can be seen in things like the OGX. This public transportation system in Ogden was a collaborative effort between the city, WSU and Utah Transit Authority.

“Both entities progress better with help from the other. It is a very symbiotic relationship,” Garside said.

Karen Bateman works in the Alumni Center on campus and sees a college town as “one where there is a close connection with the local university.”

Even by this definition Ogden still fits the description. The College Town Coalition’s intentions are to keep a close relationship and connection between the city and WSU.

Make Ogden Purple, an organization brought to life through the idea of Amir Jackson, aims to integrate the community and WSU. This is done through involving the community in WSU oriented things, like the Purple Paw Parade.

The parade succeeds in gaining community and student involvement, as well as showing school spirit by sporting purple gear.

Becca Gibson, engagement coordinator for the Alumni Center, strongly believes that Ogden is a college town.

“I feel Ogden is a college town because I see a lot of community support and love for Weber State at events, in conversations and in how people represent WSU in their lives.” Gibson said.

Although Garside believes there is always room for improvement in the coalition, continuing to work on the goals will continue to make Ogden more of a college town.

There will be a council meeting this December to help reaffirm the partnership between the city and Weber State. The goal is to show the community that Ogden will continue to grow and evolve into more of a mutually beneficial college town.

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Gracie Stephenson, Culture reporter
Anna Kuglar, Photography editor

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