I would like to welcome back, on behalf of our entire city of Cape Girardeau, our Southeast Missouri State University students. This is also the time to welcome the incoming freshman class of more than 1,900 students to our fine university.
I would also like to give a special welcome to our international students. We will have about 600 returning and 800 total international students on campus this year.
Southeast Missouri State University plays a major role in the success of our city. It has been estimated that 100 students add about $1 million in economic impact to our area. The university through its staff, faculty and programs greatly benefit our area through the Chamber of Commerce, economic development, social service agencies and many other ways.
We also recognize the many student activities that benefit our city throughout each school year. Greek and other student organizations have continually been very active in supporting many agency fundraisers, cleanup activities and other organized programs throughout Cape Girardeau.
Each of you, as students residing here in Cape Girardeau, become adult citizens of our fine city. We want you to use and enjoy the many amenities that Cape Girardeau provides its citizens. We invite you to use and enjoy the many dining options, entertainment venues, wide array of shopping options, our many parks, etc.
Along with these privileges come a certain amount of responsibilities. We ask for your cooperation in accepting this responsibility by obeying and living within our city codes and ordinances, as we expect from all our citizens.
Our city council has addressed in recent weeks two separate issues that directly or indirectly involve our university population. They are a party ordinance and a parking ordinance. Our council has attempted, through much public input, to craft and approve ordinances that best serve the majority of our permanent citizens and our student population. I don't claim that these ordinances are perfect, and we can always make adjustments in them as we gain from experience.
I can assure you that we, as council and staff, will continue to listen to our citizens and invite all to address our council with concerns and comments on any issue. Our council meets the first and third Mondays of each month. Any citizen can address the council on any item not on the evening agenda during our 5 p.m. work session and any item on the agenda during the regular session which begins at 7 p.m.
I trust you will enjoy your academic year here in Cape Girardeau. I hope you will, during your stay in our city, find employment and a career that will make you permanent citizens of our fine city.
Harry E. Rediger is the mayor of Cape Girardeau.