As one its many philanthropy initiatives, the Corp annually doles out Reimagine Georgetown grants to programs that “seek to improve our undergraduate experience at Georgetown in creative ways.” In recent years, grants—which are co-sponsored by GUASFCU and The Hoya—have gone to now-well-known initiatives like Run for Rigby and 25 Days of Service.
According to Chairman of the Reimagine Georgetown Board J. Ryan Zambon (MSB ’10), the program received more than 20 grant applications this year. Yesterday, the Board announced that it had narrowed the proposals down to four winners:
- Georgetown Alternative Music Series: $5,000 will go towards Daniel Alexander’s (MSB ’11) idea of creating a series of on-campus concerts featuring student and local bands.
- D.C. Students Speak: Michael Trummel (COL ’10) will be getting $3,000 to establish an annual conference between student leaders at all of the major D.C.-area universities to coordinate student response to issues like 61-D citations.
- Saxa Service Feast: $2,000 will go to Joel Ziebell (COL ’10) to host a wing-eating contest for students and faculty. The event will raise money that will be donated to the winning team’s charity of choice.
- Diversability: Tiffany Yu (MSB ’10) is starting a club to promote “disability pride.” The group is in the process of getting SAC approval, and will be receiving $500 to get off the ground.
You can check out the full descriptions for the winning programs after the jump!
GEORGETOWN ALTERNATIVE MUSIC SERIES
also known as “GAMS” (which is pronounced as “jams”)
proposal by Daniel Alexander (MSB ’11)
This proposal basically attempts to provide a solution to a problem that I have noticed many Georgetown students experience: there are not many opportunities to see live concerts on campus. I know there are a few organizations (What’s after Dark, WGTB, GPB) who put on concerts, but many of these events have been considered failures for several reasons. The acts who performed over the last couple of years have not been appealing to a large portion of the student body. The annual GPB spring concert in McDonough is the best thing we have, but since it is in the gym, the sound is very mediocre and not nearly as good as it could be in other venues on campus.
I am suggesting a new fund of a few thousand dollars to allow a team of student concert promoters to put together a great show of local bands, hip hop artists, and DJ’s in Bulldog Alley. Local artists will be easy and cheap to hire and can be selected by an elected commission based on student surveys. We can get WGTB to help with the sound and use their experience to our advantage.
This idea will give students a new option for experiencing live concerts: something they clearly need. Student bands and artists will be given the chance to perform as warm-up acts. This idea will make Georgetown more of a center for cultural expression and will allow local artists to share their music with the student body. Students will have a great time and experience music they otherwise would not have the chance.
D.C. STUDENTS SPEAK
proposal by Michael Trummel (COL ’10)
Georgetown exists within a bubble. Even though there are six local universities, Georgetown students rarely interact, work with, or even know many students from these schools. This is a problem for two reasons. One, Georgetown students are missing an opportunity to meet a diverse population. Secondly, because there is little interaction with other DC students, there is consequently little opportunity to organize and have DC students’ voices heard. There are a number of laws and issues in DC that affect Georgetown students. For example, Georgetown students have complained the 61D citation handed down by DC metro police for noise violations is unfairly harsh as it is put on a student’s arrest record and may hamper a student’s ability to be hired in the future. While this is a problem for Georgetown students, these and other policies like them are in place across the district, affecting all DC-area colleges. But, because DC students do not interact and work with one another there is little opportunity to organize and make sure students’ voices are heard on these issues.
Therefore, I would like to create an annual conference starting this spring that would bring student leaders from all of the DC-area colleges to Georgetown to discuss the issues affecting their campuses. This discussion would allow Georgetown students to meet a diverse array of other students. I would also like to create a DC Students Speak website that would act as a forum, news site, and mechanism to disseminate information. Students from DC universities could discuss and post the issues that matter to them, allowing students from universities like Georgetown to find and discuss commonalities. Further, campus news from universities could be displayed, allowing students to learn and better understand what is happening on campuses across the district. Lastly, after the conference and discussion on the website, DC Students Speak could find one or two issues that are of interest to all students in DC and organize to have DC students’ interests heard. Fliers and posters could be distributed across campuses educating students on the issue and encouraging them to get involved. The website would help achieve this mission by functioning as an organizing tool, notifying students when DC council meetings are being held and how to become involved. Thus, when a City Council meeting was held, representatives from every university could be present.
This proposal would make Georgetown a better place in two ways. First, people often discuss how active Georgetown students are. However, this engagement is hampered by the front gates. Georgetown students’ efforts could be combined and multiplied with active students across DC, allowing Georgetown and DC students’ voices to be heard. Secondly, Georgetown is missing an opportunity to meet and learn a great deal from the diverse population of DC students. There are active initiatives in CSJ and club sports that introduce DC students to each other, but DC Students Speak would reach out to a segment of Georgetown’s population that may not be involved with CSJ or other clubs that work within the DC community, and allow those students to interact with other parts of DC. Hosting this conference and providing an online forum for Georgetown students to interact with other DC colleges would be a great way to break the Georgetown bubble.
SAXA SERVICE FEAST
(previous year’s winner to be executed this year)
proposal by Joel Ziebell (COL ’10)
The event idea is a large eating contest between student and faculty groups. Each group will be comprised of two students from a Georgetown student organization or two faculty members from a specific discipline or department. Teams will also be encouraged to bring other group members for additional support. Each team will be charged with an entry fee, which will be used for both the winning prize money and the donation. The winning team will receive a small portion of the prize money for its organization, and will donate the remaining proceeds to the non-profit organization of its choice. The contest will consist of two rounds of two minutes – one round per team member – during which the participants will consume as many wings (or possibly hot dogs) as possible. The team with the most total number of items eaten will win the prize money and elect a non-profit organization for the donation. To encourage attendance, there will also be a free raffle for non-participants. Before the contest raffle tickets will be given out; afterwards prizes consisting of Georgetown paraphernalia will be given away to random lottery picks. If possible, donated food and/or drinks from the Corp or surrounding restaurants will be available for attendees as well.
Aside from the larger campus events, such as Georgetown Day, it is rare to see students celebrating the spirit of Georgetown together with faculty members in a causal setting. By integrating faculty teams with student organizations, both groups will be brought together to work towards a universal cause. The casual setting will promote communication and collaboration on a personal level, unlike that generally found in the classroom. Undergraduates and faculty members will have the opportunity to learn from one another. Together, staff and students will exemplify the spirit of Georgetown as a common entity.
Furthermore, the event will showcase the diversity present in the Georgetown community by bringing together various student groups and faculty members. It is quite often that student groups showcase their talent by hosting individual events, but it is much less common to see collaboration amongst multiple student groups. The considerable number of different groups participating in the contest will demonstrate the inherent diversity present in the Georgetown student body. Moreover, organizations will be able to reveal their unique interests by supporting their personal groups. The event will provide students with the opportunity to showcase their pride in serving as a member of their organization.
Consistent with the Jesuit philosophy of cura personalis, the event will promote the values of service and duty by allowing a donation to be made to the non-profit group chosen by the winning team. By working with others toward a common goal rather than simply handing out money, participants will truly exemplify the essence of service. Consequently, the contest will provide an avenue through which both staff and faculty can explore their commitment to serving the community. It also has the potential to promote future group collaborations in which members unite in a philanthropic spirit. By donating both their time and energy, participants will embody the ideal of becoming men and women for others.
proposal by Tiffany Yu (MSB ’10)
The premise is simple: I am trying to create a student group on campus that is dedicated to raising disability awareness and reshaping the University s conceptions of what it means to have a disability. The group will bring together students with disabilities and their allies to foster and encourage dialogue throughout campus on disability. This group will address the need for horizontal support—support from peers—on campus. The group is not so much a support group but rather a “disability pride” group. Ideally, we are reimagining Georgetown to be a more inclusive campus.
The idea for this grew out of the realization that there are an abundance of student groups that address various aspects of diversity including gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity—but there were no student groups that directly address ability. Best Buddies, the organization that creates one to one friendships between college students and members of the community with intellectual disabilities, was the closest organization that came close to brushing the topic. Diversity exists at Georgetown, and disability is an integral part of that.
How can we make this campus more accommodating for students with disabilities? I think it is important that Georgetown students begin to think more consciously about disability from use of the word “retard” in casual conversation to kicking in the blue plates to open doors to the point where they are not usable for students in wheelchairs.
Eventually, this group, which we’ve called diversABILITY, will become a SAC organization recognized by the University. Unfortunately, that process will only begin to take off the ground near the end of next semester and only after we become a SAC organization will it be easier to have access to funding to support our programming But something needs to be done now.
The creation of a Disability Studies Certificate and the Accessing Difference Conference provided the momentum we needed to get this off the ground. We want to keep this momentum growing—we have the support we need from students, faculty, and staff, but we don’t have the funds necessary to really make an impact.
The group will officially be launched in early spring. The grant will be used to fund our launch—we have a lot of ideas for how we want to kickoff this group, including inviting a high profile speaker in the arena or sponsoring a “day in a wheelchair” event. The remaining funds will go toward raising further awareness, either through T-shirts or other promotional materials.