Greater connection between William Penn University and the broader community 

William Penn has been a staple institution in the community since 1873 however there seems to be a disconnect between the University and the broader community despite efforts on and off campus to build the bond.  

This plan includes many key pieces that will help strengthen the relationship between the University and the community. We recommend beginning with two specific pieces as a catalyst; Transportation and Mentorship. 

William Penn Bike Share Mockup

Transportation  

  • Create a Free Bike Share program with stations on campus and downtown. Many students don’t have cars, and the ones who do often aren’t comfortable driving at night. A bike share program would increase accessibility and encourage engaging with the community off campus.

  • As a part of the Shared Streets plan, adding bike lanes along Hwy 63 will help increase accessibility for students to and from downtown from William Penns campus.

  • The traffic calming measures and transfer of jurisdiction will mean the speed limit will decrease on Hwy 63 and semi-truck traffic will be diverted, making pedestrian and cycling safer. 

Mentorship  

We recommend creating mentorship opportunities for William Penn students in the community beginning with a strong partnership between FACE and the Humanities Department at William Penn University. Opportunities can be, but are not limited to: 

  • Community Leadership Opportunity with William Penn  
    • Create a student club on campus or build into an existing one, such as the student ambassadors club, to identify mentors off campus. 
    • These mentors look for ways to advise and include students into volunteer and leadership opportunities locally.  

  • Opportunities with FACE and the Humanities Department 
    • Create a Student leadership board at the Art Center. WP Humanities students are recommended by professors to apply. These students are given leadership opportunities at the Art Center including the opportunity to host and promote once a month programming of the outer space.  
    • Discounted or free membership to the makers space in exchange for teaching/volunteering.  
    • Student journalism – writing, blogging and vlogging for local events. 
    • Employment opportunities for teaching music lessons, theatre, art classes, spring, summer and winter camps, workshops, etc.  
    • Develop communications internship program w/FACE for credit 

  • Students should be recruited for job opportunities at new bar/restaurant and the Art Center 

William Penn mascot

Action Steps

FORM PARTNERSHIP FOR BIKE SHARE PROGRAM

William Penn University, The City of Oskaloosa

Identify partner organizations or companies to implement bike share program. We recommend the Street Collective of Greater Des Moines based on experience, scope of services and proximity. https://www.dsmbikecollective.org/

IMPLEMENT BIKE SHARE PROGRAM

William Penn University, The City of Oskaloosa, Greater DSM Street Collective

Get cost estimates, find funding resources, decide on implementation and maintenance plan, identify sites for bike stations, spread news for public awareness, kick off implementation during a public event.

BUILD PARTNERSHIP FOR ARTS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

William Penn University, Humanities Department, Student Life

Identify and recruit  community leaders to serve as mentors on committee. Identify student group or leaders to lead effort on campus.

Build plan for mentorship program using the recommendations provided.

BUILD STUDENT LEADERSHIP BOARD AT FACE

William Penn University, Humanities Department, FACE

Create a plan for the program including goals, expectations and description.

Promote the program on campus through professors. Ask for students who might be interested to be recommended. Host a free pizza night at FACE for interested students to review program.

Once board is established, revisit the plan together and brainstorm ideas then define specifics; goals, dates of events, roles, promotion, communications, etc.