Students in Emily Lynch's Introduction to Political Science class travelled to Warwick City Hall at the end of the fall term to present Mayor Scott Avedisian with potential solutions to real-life problems the city is currently facing.
Mayor Avedisian had visited Lynch's class in September and described 4 civic issues: using open space created in the Apponaug Circulator; how to fund sewer construction projects; implementing a better citywide streetlight policy using LEDs; and how to address other post-employment benefits (OPEB). The students then broke into groups, with each group focusing on a different problem.
“The basis of the project was to research and outline a policy issue of importance to the City of Warwick and develop 3 options that could resolve the issue at hand,” student Caitlyn Walker said.
Each group presented their proposed solutions in front of Mayor Avedisian, Janine Burke-Wells, the director of the Warwick Sewer Authority, and Patricia Reynolds from the Planning Department. All groups presented 3 scenarios and made 1 recommendation each. In every instance, the recommendations made by the studens were the same strategies the city wished to pursue.
“I thought they all did a fantastic job,” Avedisian told the Warwick Beacon. “I like the model Johnson & Wales uses. They bring a different perspective where they basically tell us what's directly on their minds. It was very valuable for us.”
After the students made their presentations, they toured City Hall, including the City of Warwick's property records and archives, which date back to the early 1900s, and the auditorium where the City Council votes on legislation.