|by Howard Hewitt • January 14, 2012|
Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton ’00 challenged student leaders Saturday morning to live a life that will make a lasting impact on Wabash, Crawfordsville, and beyond.
Barton, elected last fall, was the keynote speaker for the second-semester HELP session. Student leaders in fraternities and residence halls return to campus two days early each semester for leadership training and educational sessions. The HELP program was established seven years ago by the Dean of Students office.
The former fire chief, Wabash Psychology major and Independent, told the students his decision to run for mayor grew from his life-long desire to “make a lasting impact on our community.”
“But let me tell you being a firefighter and Wabash graduate is kind of odd,” he began. “As a firefighter the one thing most likely to come between you and your sleep is a Wabash student.”
After the laughter, he made his point. “Wabash is a world-class institution … and I want to make a serious effort to make Crawfordsville a world-class city. To the outside world Wabash is Crawfordsville,”
Barton said he knew the young leaders in the room had already decided they wanted to live a life of impact because they enrolled at Wabash.
“You are in a unique position as a leader among leaders,” he said. “Now more than ever this community needs your help. We’ve been through some rough times lately.”
Barton talked about job loss other issues affecting the city and suggested “there for a bit we lost our direction.”
He urged the students to have a lasting impact by volunteering in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. And he used a simple example to get the students attention.
“From a town perspective at basketball games where Wabash students are coaching there’s a lot of discussion in the crowd about how great it is Wabash students take the time to help. There’s more discussion on that than the game.”
He re-emphasized that spending time with a community young person is “truly a lasting impression.”
But he said making a positive contribution goes beyond volunteering and requires only simple steps for every Wabash student. “Each and every time you leave this campus and each and every time you venture into the city you are representing Wabash.
“Take a moment to do a kind deed. Take a moment to listen.”
He noted that some people may encounter Wabash students daily, or seldom, or just that one interaction that leaves a lasting impression.
The day also included skill building and educational sessions.
Crawfordsville Police Sergeant Hal Utterback (above right) talked about safety issues and how to deal with police officers when they respond to calls on campus. City Fire Department Inspector Eric Small (at left) discussed safety issues in fraternities and dormitories.
Health issues were on the agenda with with Wabash nurse Carol Lamb and College counselors Kevin Swaim and Jamie Douglas. Athletic trainer Mark Elizondo covered first aid and CPR. Wabash graduates and Crawfordsville physicians Dr. John Roberts and Dr. Scott Douglas presented a program on substance abuse and how to know the signs and how students should respond.