(im)Prove it!

So I was looking at the dear old UMBC web site today and noticed something I hadn’t seen before. The Student Government Association is sponsoring a contest called “ImProve It,” which is open to all undergraduate students in good academic standing. Students are challenged to come up with creative ideas for projects or events to improve campus life here at UMBC. The selection committee will put their heads together to choose the best idea, and then… $50,000 goes toward implementation of the idea, whatever it may be, and an additional $5,000 is awarded to the student for coming up with such a brilliant proposal.

There aren’t necessarily any rules—the SGA is looking for “something that instills a sense of pride in our campus community,” so basically—think of something, anything, that would make UMBC an even better place to be. The web site has something called an “Idea Development Tool” to help you get started once you come up with your idea. Winning ideas of yesteryear include a renovation and re-purposing of the 2nd floor of the Commons, and the addition of GPS to UMBC’s shuttle buses so that the buses may be tracked from any computer.

I just thought I’d share this since I think it is a perfect example of how UMBC students are really encouraged to speak up and have a big impact on campus. Lots of colleges talk about “getting involved,” but I have never heard of a project quite like this before. Sadly, it’s pretty rare for students to have this much of a say in how funding is used at their own school. We may not all be aspiring inventors, but everyone has an idea from time to time on how to make something better. Wouldn’t it be cool to see one of your ideas become a reality? If you are a current UMBC student, get going, because the deadline is January 13. If you are a future UMBC student, it’s never too early to start thinking about an idea for next year…


For more info: http://sga.umbc.edu/proveit/