USG announces how grant will be spent

Joseph Digby, Staff Reporter

Since 2010, Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has had a program called the Student Life Improvement Grant (SLIG). SLIG aims to provide funding for initiatives to improve the campus. This year, USG focused more heavily on how it would allocate the SLIG money.

Before deciding how to allocate the grant money, USG asks students, faculty, and staff to present ideas for how to improve student life. How the money is used is up to USG, but the proposal simply needs to be feasible and have long-lasting impact on a majority of the CWRU population.

This year, the typical budget of $10,000 was increased to $25,000, following the larger than usual USG rollover from the fall 2011 semester.

A committee made up of the USG president, vice president of finance, vice president of student life, one treasurer, and three additional members selects the SLIG proposals. These three additional members must not be members of the general assembly of USG, but are nominated by members of the assembly for their knowledge of campus issues and skill at responsible decision-making.

This year, USG received 21 SLIG proposals. They were funded in order of importance and adherence to the SLIG criteria for proposals, with the top-ranked proposals receiving funding in full. The committee found eight proposals to be the most important and beneficial for CWRU.

The first one, receiving $11,340, implemented a GPS tracking system for the Safe Ride vans. This provided a critical aid for the service, which allows students to receive safe transport around campus at night.

Often, students will forgo the Safe Ride van and simply travel on foot because they don’t know if they have time to wait for the vans. The GPS system would allow students to request a ride, check the location of vans, and coordinate their arrival with the student’s needs.

The second proposal that was funded expanded the sound and light equipment borrowing system. This program allows student groups to borrow sound and lighting equipment from Footlighters, who are entrusted by USG with the duties of managing and maintaining the equipment, rather than each group buying, maintaining, or renting the expensive equipment on its own. The proposal requested $5000 and called for more lighting equipment to be added to the collection.

The third fully funded proposal was for the $5000 purchase of a Case Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance. The Case EMS service is relied upon in cases in which a student has fallen into critical condition.

The fourth proposal allotted $1315.31 towards the maintenance and upkeep of minivans owned by the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning (CCEL). These vans carry students to and from various community service projects coordinated with CCEL. Also, student groups can rent the vans as long as the driver(s) are CCEL-trained.

Angela Lowery, the student service coordinator at CCEL, said, “Due to rising maintenance and fuel costs over the past couple years, the vans have become increasingly expensive to maintain. We even had to sell our 15-passenger van last year because we couldn’t afford to keep up with the increasing costs.”

She continued, “The grant will help us be proactive in making necessary repairs to our current vehicles and to ensure that the campus community will continue to have them as a resource for as much time as possible.”

A single student came forward, asking for $962 to purchase a sturdy container in which students can deposit their old, damaged, or unwanted electronics. The student would then take those devices to groups that can salvage their valuable worth.

The sixth proposal put forth $875 for the canvas printing of professional quality photos of CWRU to be hung in high-traffic areas of campus. This proposal, called ‘Photos for All,’ serves to enrich campus life and pride through the exhibition of the campus.

The seventh proposal purchased a number of collapsible canopies for outdoor student events. Any student group would be able to check out and use them. Currently, the student who put forth the proposal is deciding who will manage the storage, maintenance, and lending of these canopies, whether it be USG or another organization.

The final proposal gave the last $7.69 to the purchasing of a doorstop for the door in the Grab-It Café. It is a busy area throughout the day, and there have been complaints about the doors, which have been propped open as of late by paper napkins.