EDWARDSVILLE – Students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Lewis and Clark Community College teamed up Friday, October 21, with Mayor Art Risavy, other City officials, and staff from the two campuses in what’s become a community-building tradition: the Hashbrown Huddle.

More than 40 people took part in the breakfast gathering at the Wildey Theatre. The Huddle is hosted by the City’s Campus to Community Committee, made up of Edwardsville residents, students and staff from SIUE and Lewis and Clark who strive to highlight events of interest, to strengthen communication and build relationships. Mayor Art Risavy welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of strong ties between the City and the two campuses.

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SIUE Student Body President Rahmat Salau, who is a member of the Campus to Community Committee, also helped kick off the event. Participants split up into groups to brainstorm ideas on events and opportunities that could involve the City and students from both schools.

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The goal is for the Campus to Community Committee to be able to implement one or more of the ideas sparked by the Hashbrown Huddle. Chad Verbais is SIUE’s assistant director of Supplemental Education/Learning Support Services and also chairs the Campus to Community group. He said the overall intention is to “look for ways we can collaborate on different events, different traditions, different programs to bring all of the entities together, because as the mayor said, ‘We know when we work together it’s a much better place than when we’re in our own different silos.’”

Verbais said previous Hashbrown Huddles have led to ongoing SIUE participation at the Land of Goshen Community Market, a “City of Edwardsville” day at SIUE sports events and City participation in campus events.

It was the seventh overall Hashbrown Huddle, and the sixth one held in person. The event did not take place in 2021, and was a virtual gathering in 2020. The Campus to Community Committee previously existed as the Edwardsville-SIUE Community Destination Group, but was renamed and expanded to include Lewis and Clark Community College, which offers classes at the N.O. Nelson Campus in Edwardsville.

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