It is 9 p.m. and dark. Freshman Ruth Tomlinson is walking back from class. The fastest way to her dorm is to cross behind the Campus Center. Tomlinson, however, doesn’t feel safe because there is no light until you reach the other side. But this isn’t the only area she has noticed lacking light and with that thought, she entered the Student Government Associations $250 For Change Project.
“I didn’t think I would win, but I wanted to bring it up so my voice could be heard,” Tomlinson said.
She won. Her idea was to increase lighting behind the Campus Center, the green by Huden and the path by the Coffee Cottage.
Each contestant had to send in a description of their idea along with an estimated budget and what the budget would be used for. There were 11 contestants total. The top five ideas were: adding pages to the catalog to better explain the frames of reference, creating a daycare for students and faculty to bring their children to on campus, paving the gravel sidewalks, creating a commuter lounge and Tomlinson’s idea of increasing the lighting on campus.
The point of the contest was to get ideas for the seven new delegates on SGA to work on for this semester and next year, said Justin Garritt SGA president.
“Her ideas can and should help shape future decisions on where to place resources when considering how best to light our campus for both safety and practicality of use,” said Dean Dennis Proulx in an e-mail regarding Tomlinson’s idea.
Proulx said that he is willing to meet with Tomlinson and anyone else who has ideas on how to make campus better.
Tomlinson received $250 toward textbooks for this semester for her idea. The others did not walk away empty handed, though. The top five received $5 to the school store.
Tomlinson gets to work side by side with Garritt to implement her project.
“I am excited to be working with Justin and meet new people too,” Tomlinson said.
Garritt and Tomlinson will be meeting to plan when the project will be put into place.
Garritt hopes to prompt Tomlinson to become a student leader because of her efforts in this competition.
“After a winning proposal, we want her to join the SGA,” said Garritt as Tomlinson was walking into the office.