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Toga, toga, and fresh produce
Farmers' market welcomes college students
farmers pic1
Cameron Jackson, representative from the CSU Stanislaus Police Department, was one of the many members of the university staff who attended Friday night's farmers' market event. - photo by JAYDEEP BHATIA / The Journal

The Turlock Certified Farmers' Market was in full swing Friday night, complete with fruits, music, vendors, and a whole lot of college students.

Friday’s market marked the first ever CSU Stanislaus Night, where students, staff and faculty of the city’s university were invited to make a trip downtown to partake in the festivities.

 The idea to dedicate the event to the university was the brainchild of the university’s newly appointed president, Joseph Sheley. Sheley, who started his first official year as president this fall semester, stated that events like Friday night’s farmers' market will help foster a stronger relationship between the city and the university.

“This is what being a real part of the town is all about,” said Sheley. “It's important to make this connection and show that we recognize the importance of downtown and agriculture in this community.”

Mariam Salameh, president of CSU Stanislaus' Associated Students Inc., echoed Sheley’s zeal about the event.

"I really enjoyed the atmosphere and appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Turlock community,” said Salameh. “I personally want to thank everyone involved in coordinating a great and entertaining evening.”

Along with swarms of university students, the core of the market was still the same, complete with fresh fruits, vegetables, live music and other vendors. An array of student groups also showcased their respective organizations, including HiMAP, a math tutoring organization  based out of the university.

Vojta Ripa, who serves as one the tutors for HiMap, stated that events like these allowed the university to showcase what they have to offer the community.

“A whole lot of families come down here just for this event,” said Ripa. “It was totally cool to be able to talk and interact with people we typically don't have the opportunity to.”

For some, the market was reminiscent of older times, when the university and the city seemed to have a tighter kinship. Wanda Bonnel, who serves as program coordinator of the Promise Scholars Program, said she recalls a time when events like the night market were a much more common sight.

“In the past, it was really common to see things like this,” said Bonnel. “I’m very glad to see it again, and I think it’s a great idea.”