By Dylan Weinand
Special to the Denisonian
The latest development in the movement to create a more inclusive Denison is the Fund for Campus Innovation and Change, approved last week by the Campus Affairs Council and spearheaded by Dr. Laurel Kennedy. The fund was created for “student-initiated projects that support a healthy, safe and welcoming community at Denison.” Proposals can be formatted as projects, campaigns or campus events. Any individual student or campus group can apply for funding, with $500 being the maximum amount allocated per project.
Omar Vargas ‘16, is a sociology/anthropology major and a member of the multicultural fraternity Phi Iota Alpha. He is grateful for the new fund. “The administration is recognizing that we cannot be a stable community without everyone being engaged in Denison life,” Vargas said. He also believes that alcohol is not a necessary part of communal social gatherings.
President Weinberg sent out a campuswide email on Jan. 30 in response to an Amber Alert earlier that morning. While Weinberg thanked students and staff who aided in the search for a missing student, he made clear his conviction that the campus community must change. He wrote: “We have to do better. The start of the semester has not been good…We need a shift in how we consume alcohol on this campus, which also means shifting how we think about alcohol and its role in campus life.” The incident sparked conversation around campus regarding drinking and social gatherings.
While many students and faculty are glad to be having conversations about uniting campus, establishing a permanent alteration in Denison culture is challenging without proper resources.
Jackson WuPong ‘15, a member of the Campus Affairs Council and DCGA, stated that the new fund is a continuation of DCGA’s reserve fund process.
WuPong said, “Now that DCGA has used up that reserve fund money, this new fund with Dr. Kennedy is really just her effort to have administrative support continue in supporting student projects and entrepreneurship.”
Some students have already begun creating proposals. Brian Allen ‘17 is currently working on a project promoting awareness of differences in sexual orientation, race and mental disorders on sports teams.
In order for a proposal to be considered for funding by CAC, it must be written with the expectation of being implemented in the Spring or Fall of 2015. CAC will determine project funding on a monthly basis, with the first deadline being Feb. 19.