SGA, FrostburgFirst Partner for Main Street

The FSU Student Government Association (SGA) and the economic development coalition FrostburgFirst have begun to partner on initiatives to bolster Main Street businesses. Current SGA President James Kirk gave some insight on how his organization was able to partner with FrostburgFirst Director Jessica Palumbo and what this partnership means for students.

“One of the missions of FrostburgFirst is to help develop and promote Main Street as the historic district of the city,” Kirk said. “So I had a meeting with Dr. Bowling just as SGA president because I meet with him every once in a while and Jessica Palumbo also had a meeting with him, so Dr. Bowling was the one who connected us together.”

According to Kirk, this partnership will hopefully help connect Frostburg students with the area and get individuals more involved in the Main Street community.

While several university officials currently serve on the FrostburgFirst board of directors, including Assistant Vice President for Student and Community Involvement Bill Mandicott, College of Liberal Arts Dean Joe Hoffman, and English professor Gerry LaFemina, Kirk is the first student representative.

“One of the goals of the partnership is to figure out how we can bring more business to Main Street while providing events for the community that are going to be perceived well,” Kirk said. “Not necessarily to revitalize Main Street, but just to help adapt and evolve.”

Kirk acknowledges that challenges may arise, noting, “one kind of difficulty I do see is how do we know the best way to inform students about what’s up on Main Street, and how to get them interested and involved in what’s going on there.” To face these challenges, the organizations are considering strategic events aimed at the Frostburg student body: “we’re working on a possible event in the fall that would take place at the weekend after a block party,” Kirk stated. “They [students] could be introduced to the different restaurants and the different stores that they’re still trying to see.”

While many students in the area are already familiar with restaurant’s such as Gianni’s and Fat Boy’s, Kirk hopes that this partnership might also shed some light on certain stores that students might not be as familiar with.

“We just want to inform students about the whole community,” he said. “There are a lot of great places that Main Street has to offer.”

Kirk sees this partnership as an opportunity to share student talent with Main Street. According to Kirk, some FrostburgFirst might want to include student artwork which could help students get their names out to a wider audience. He also clarified that although SGA has a new partnership, the only case where funds might be spent on FrostburgFirst is if a school organization is directly involved such as if the art honor society would want to apply for some of that funding to help with their walk event.

Kirk stated, “overall I am excited to have this partnership and I think it’s a great opportunity to let students know about what’s out there for them to see.”

Student Government Association meetings occur on alternate Thursdays in the Atkinson Room of the Lane Center and are open to the public. For more information on FrostburgFirst, click here.

Attempts to reach Palumbo were unsuccessful.
(Featured image: TBL/Taylor Whiteman)

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