Kirksville’s annual New Student Welcome was held on September 10th from 5 to 7 p.m. in downtown Kirksville’s plaza. A variety of tents and booths were set up, inviting students to play games, enter raffles, learn about different things to do outside of campus and enjoy a lot of good food. It is a perfect way for churches, restaurants, businesses, and various other organizations to promote themselves and spread community outreach to college students in the area.
“I think it is important for the Kirksville community to show just how welcoming and appreciative we are of the students here at Truman State University, Moberly Area Community College, and A.T. Still University. I think it’s critical that folks get to see what all Kirksville has available, and I’m really glad to see so many businesses and community organizations are showing up to showcase here tonight,” Mayor of Kirksville, Zac Burden said.
The event is planned annually by the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce, Burden said.
Austin Stanley, a worker at Kirksville AutoWorks said that seeing the variety of different college students is his favorite part of participating in the new student welcome. “[My favorite part of this event is] seeing all the different college people that come around here, because I’m used to only seeing Truman students come in to work.” The business gives several discounts to college students and military workers, Stanley said.
The New Student Welcome also introduced a new business, The Kirksville Brewing Company that will be opening inside of Lupita’s at the end of September.
“We’re really hoping that we can connect with students, so it can be a really cool spot for students to come and build a really cool community here in Kirksville,” Emma Hulbert, a junior transfer student who will be working as a barista at Kirksville Brewing, said. “We really want to be an integral part of the community here.” Hulbert was joined by freshman Brianna Barr in advertising their new business at the New Student Welcome.
The New Student Welcome is a great way to introduce students to life off of campus, and to make Kirksville seem like a home to them. “[My favorite booth is] the Bonsai Booth because it’s free sushi and it’s also just really good food,” senior Louisa Lopez said. “I was here last year and the year before. [I like to come here] because you get a lot of free stuff, but also you get to see what the businesses are in town so you get more resources and also other things like the health center, how to vote, and other things you wouldn’t know about if you didn’t come to this.”