2014 Prove It! Voting!
Vote for your favorite Prove It! 2014 proposal!
Below are overviews of each proposal, as written by the applicants themselves:
Veteran Peer Mentor Program
The student veteran population is one of the fastest growing populations at UMBC, increasing from 100 veterans in 2008 to over 300 in 2013. This growth is projected to continue as more veterans use their Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits. While our student veteran population has grown, a solid support system at UMBC has not yet been developed to meet all their needs. My plan is to implement a peer mentor program to help meet those needs and provide the camaraderie many vets miss after leaving the military. During focus groups of UMBC veterans, veterans have said that working with other vets could help them to select majors and classes, translate their military skills to civilian resumes, obtain counseling, identify job leads, and navigate the campus. In other words, it helps them be successful students.
The team leader was a founding member of the student veterans group at Howard Community College and know the challenges unique to reaching out to veterans. Last year the team leader was an intern for the Program Coordinator of Veteran Student Life at College Park, which oversaw the very successful Maryland Veteran Resiliency Initiative program. As a result, the team has valuable knowledge and experience on what works and doesn't work when reaching out to veterans. The American Council on Education has studied factors most effective at helping veterans succeed in college and found that peer support had a major impact on their success. The team's own experience as student veterans has found this to be true as well.
Retriever Treasure Program
We live in a throw-away society. A time where this is readily apparent is during the move out period at the end of a semester on a college campus. So much of what is discarded is not trash; materials in good or perfect condition end up being tossed because students do not want (or are unable) to bring them home. In fact, many of the items that are thrown away are things that will be purchased by students the very next semester. Our goal is to put a stop to this destructive cycle of waste. We want to work with PLAN (Post Landfill Action Network) to set up a self-sustaining program of supply collection and redistribution. At the end of each semester, we would set up a collection drive that would last for one to two weeks around move-out day. Instead of throwing away unwanted items, students will be able to drop them off at a conveniently located collection site. The items will be transported to a rented storage space until the beginning of the following semester. Then, the collected items will be brought back to campus and sold to students at a low price. The revenue from these sales will be used to fund the program in the future, as well as any other sustainability initiatives on campus. PLAN will be a vital partner. They have helped other campuses set up similar programs by organizing the truck and storage rentals (at discounted prices) and providing support and outreach.
We're building a community food garden on UMBC's campus--construction is set for June of this year. The space is open to every member of UMBC's community. We've already established the campus partnerships to make sure that the space is maintained year-round, and as an organization we will be taking care of every cost:students only have to show up and they keep what they grow.
Imagine if there were student farmer's markets on the quad, if students could fundraise in the breezeway with something other than cookies and brownies, and if the dining hall and the commons could have more real, fresh food in them.
In addition, The Garden will be an outdoor space for performances, and a reserve-able space for events and parties. Imagine having a spring formal outdoors!
The Garden will have hammocks to nap in, places for yoga and all other kinds of relaxation.
In addition, The Garden has allowed numerous students to begin their Undergraduate Research Awards, and that will only grow. The space is a place for students to create research and service opportunities, and we're already partnered with the Shriver Center's SUCCESS Program.
If you'd like more information, check out our myUMBC thread: http://my.umbc.edu/news/42768
We plan to work with Chartwells to open the campus
Starbucks, located in the University Center, on Sundays to provide students
with not only the delicious brew of a local Starbucks, but also another warm
study space on campus. This project would benefit the students of campus, and
due to its proximity to bordering communities, local residents as well by
providing new job opportunities. We chose Sunday to open, as this
weekend day with the most students back on campus. Our long term goal is to make
this project sustainable and to move funds to allow Starbucks to be open on
Saturdays as well. Throughout the entire process, we have been working with the
Chartwells team to answer any questions we may have, and they are 100% in
support of this project. Support has been shown by various SGA Leadership,
students looking for on campus jobs, commuter students, residential students,
Chartwells staff, and even current employees; the support for this project is
Commuter students experience frustration while searching for finding parking spots during peaks hours at UMBC. To alleviate this suffering, my group is proposing the installation of low cost accurate Entry/Exit parking sensors that alert student about the availability of lack thereof of parking spots in the Commons parking Garage.
There is a universal problem that affects college campuses across the United States: Student parking. This problem is especially visible in UMBC due to the high number of commuting students. Commuter students drive several minutes around campus hoping to snag a parking spot thus wasting precious time. Although there are no easy fixes to the parking problem, simple ideas can be implemented to save student’s time and fuel. My team member and I have decided that one idea worth implementing to alleviate the commuter student suffering when searching for a parking spot, is to install low cost Entry/ Exit parking sensor system in the Commons Garage. The sensors work by counting the number of car entering and exiting the garage while relaying the available parking spots via a small/medium sized information board. The common garage was picked because it is the largest multi –storey parking garage available to commuting student. The aim of this project is to alert student approaching the Commons parking garage of the availability or unavailability of parking spots before they drive into the garage.
If you would like more information before you vote, go check out some more answers provided by the teams about their ideas and their experience over at www.umbc.edu/proveit/finalists