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No plans for Farmers Market to return
The Farmers Market was not on campus in the fall 2015 semester and will not be on campus this spring 2016 semester.
The Farmers Market is an accumulation of local vendors who come to campus to sell their fruit, vegetables, bread, dessert, crafts and more to students, faculty and staff.
This campus tradition ended after two members of the Sustainability Committee, who had been instrumental to putting on the Farmers Market, left the university, according to Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering John Reap, who has been a part of the Sustainability Committee for the past four years.
“Primarily it was being run by the two people who left,” Reap said. “What they tended to do was everything you didn’t see.”
The two members worked with individual vendors to recruit them to come. Some vendors were not necessarily all that interested in coming, according to Reap, and it took some persuasion to get some of the vendors to show up.
Some vendors were not interested in participating in the Farmers Market because students were not all that interested in buying their items, Reap said.
“How many students do you see walking around with a baskets full of zucchinis? Or several heads of lettuce? Bunches of tomatoes? Or some combination of those things, not too many,” Reap said.
Sophomore Shannon Kropelunski has attended the Farmers Market in the past and misses the local produce that was brought to campus.
“I miss the organic and local produce because it was a lot different from the school’s food and it was a nice change to my normal eating habits,” Kropelunski said.
If a club were to be formed dedicated to the setup of the Farmers Market, Kropelunski would be willing to join.
“I would love to get involved in the club because it brings the local and Quinnipiac community together,” Kropelunski said.
According to Reap, a larger number of students need to come forward and start working on revitalizing the Farmers Market.
“It wasn’t valued enough that many people were willing to come forward and do something about the fact that it’s not there,” Reap said. “People tend to like good things when they’re around, but will they work to get them? That’s the thing.”
Senior Hannah Kissinger was a co-chair for the Earth Day committee at Quinnipiac and believes that as far as Farmers Markets go, it boils down to student interest.
“Things like the Farmers Market or Earth Day need people who care and don’t mind volunteering their time to network and organize events,” Kissinger said in an email. “I personally think the only way the Farmers Market could return is if students formed a club to organize the events.”
Kissinger pointed out that there is a time stamp on events such as this. If no action is taken, students will lose interest and the market could cease to exist on campus altogether.
“I’m a senior now and will be at Quinnipiac for one more year as a graduate student,” Kissinger said. “If an undergraduate wants to bring back the Farmers Markets, I can help with what I know. However, the clock is ticking and the more years we lack Farmers Markets the less the students will care.”
Reap also suggested that students create a club dedicated to the purpose of the Farmers Market.
“If the students want it and they want to create the Farmers Market club I don’t see why it couldn’t happen,” Reap said. “Student government has a set of procedures for forming a club but you could probably form the club and that could be their dedicated purpose.”
Reap even suggested a group of sororities or fraternities taking up the event as their own.
“They do some of these fundraiser-type events that involve a lot of ‘set this up over here,’ and a farmers market is probably not that different from that,” Reap said.
Donna Pintek is a copy editor for the Office of Public Affairs as well as a member of the Sustainability Committee.
Pintek reached out to the individual who managed the list of vendors for the Farmers Market and was able to get a compiled list of vendors.
“I reached out to the person who tried to do it and I asked her if she had any folders that she could send me and she did. So I have a list of vendors,” Pintek said.
Members on the faculty and staff side are busy and can help out some, but the way it was done in the past wasn’t very sustainable, according to Reap.
“It’s a student-driven school. If the students want it and do it then the school will work to do what the students want to have happen,” Reap said.