The Resource Fair

Interview by Grace Shirk

Being a college student is often overwhelming and stressful. Between assignments, exams, and studying, it can be difficult to take care of basic needs, let alone seek out available resources. That is exactly why Jose Abrego Melendez, Student Resource Advocate, hosted the first-ever Resource Fair at EOU. 

Melendez graduated from EOU in 2020 but didn’t utilize any outside resources until the spring term of his senior year when he discovered his eligibility for food stamps. He had no prior knowledge of the resources available to him as there was no promotion of such resources. Melendez says these benefits really helped him, which inspired him to pursue the newly created Resource Advocate position so he could help other students. 

Melendez says that he “wanted to be that bridge to let students know that these assistances can help you become a successful student,” adding that he wishes a position like this would have been available when he was at EOU because it would have helped him bridge those gaps of knowledge. 

Melendez began planning the Resource Fair months ago with the goal of bringing together different organizations, businesses, and resources under one roof, making it as easy as possible to connect students to a variety of resources. He says he wants to assure students that these resources exist for them and they are not taking anything away from anyone ‘more deserving.’ 

Between 25-30 organizations gathered in the Hoke Union Building on April 26, with many organizations bringing representatives from multiple departments. Over 100 students attended the Resource Fair. Nearly 100 snack packs, provided by Strong Start, containing healthier alternatives like fresh fruit, dark chocolate, and nuts, were given out. 

Melendez hopes to host another Resource Fair during the fall term of 2023 or the inter-term of 2024. He has sent out feedback forms to all students who attended the fair this month and will gather the information to improve for next year. 

If you were unable to attend the Resource Fair or were left with questions regarding what resources are available to you, you can book an appointment with Jose Abrego Melendez through the Student Diversity & Inclusion Staff page, or by calling him at 541-962-3588 or emailing him at jabrego@eou.edu. He works out of the Hoke Union Building, Room 209. 

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