Justin Gumm and Krissann Smith, owners of Slackwater Pub and Pizzeria, said they didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary on Thursday when a Weber State University bus pulled up to their curb and members of the WSU Student Association piled out.
“I just thought, ‘Yeah, a bunch of guys are coming in for some pizza,’” Smith said.
WSUSA teamed up with members of Ogden City to present the local restaurant with the first-ever Wildcat Choice Award. This award is designed to recognize a small business in Ogden that has gone above and beyond to show its support for WSU.
Aaron Newman, director of Student Involvement & Leadership, said programming vice president Courtney Woodfield deserves the credit for the idea.
“It’s not really so much Weber State making the choice; it’s the students that choose the recipients,” he said.
Newman said the Student Involvement & Leadership Office issued a survey asking for nominees. He said the plan is to recognize two businesses a semester.
Due to this being the first Wildcat Choice Award ever given out, only a few members of WSUSA could make the trip to Slackwater. Newman said he hopes more students can make it for future Wildcat Choice Awards.
“What’s nice is the city is a great partner in this,” he said. “They set up the meeting with the owner, and the owner doesn’t know this is coming.”
Representatives from the Ogden City Council joined WSUSA in presenting Gumm and Smith the award. Richard Hyer, chair of the Ogden City Council, said the city was pleased to partner with WSU and looks forward to giving more of the awards.
“It has been really great to partner with Weber State in everything that we do,” Hyer said. “To recognize a business that has been very university-friendly, as well as a good citizen in our community, has been absolutely wonderful. Slackwater has done a lot to be a mainstay in this city — to be a staple here.”
Although the next Wildcat Choice Award isn’t scheduled until spring semester, students are encouraged to visit the Student Involvement & Leadership Office for more information and to vote for future nominees.