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Ursinus College Congress Proposal

Page history last edited by Lindsay 10 years, 1 month ago

(You can insert photos above by uploading an image and then linking it here).



Title of your College or University: Ursinus College     


Names of Students Attending:  Maire Moriarty and Lindsay Budnick



Name of Your Big Idea:  Let's go abroad!


Title: Let’s go abroad!

2) The Case: We wanted to tackle the problem of lack of communication between the study abroad office as well as create a more meaningful service abroad trip for our spring break.

3) The Solution: Our big idea is to ensure that the study abroad office and Bonner have an open line of communication through meetings and discussions about service abroad. We also decided to create a service abroad trip to Jamaica with plenty of prep time for reflection.


4) The Process: For our “Big Idea” we first had a meeting with the study abroad director of our school. In this meeting we were able to communicate to her what Bonner was all about. We were able to tell her what students who study abroad would need to fulfill in order to remain as Bonner during that semester. From this meeting we were also able to learn of the concerns of the study abroad office, so we both are able to help each other in the future.

          For the other part of our “Big Idea” we, as a group of Bonners, planned our trip to Jamaica. We had completed a service trip last year to Mississippi, but we felt that it lacked both reflection and continuity. That is why that is something which we wanted to ensure happened in this year’s trip. The group of Bonners worked together in order to reflect on what service abroad meant to them. We realized that those whom we were going down to “help”, as we previously thought, were also “helping” us, because we took away from this experience as much as they did. We were able to bond as leaders in service.



Our plan is to do service abroad in both the study abroad concept and in the short term service projects over school breaks. In the study abroad context we plan to address the problem that Bonners face in trying to get their hours in studying abroad in countries where they generally have a full grasp of the language. In order to solve this problem we want to use our natural advantage of being English speakers to help children and others in the country learn conversational English in a fun setting. This could be in any setting that a person has an interest in, to be discussed in the next section when we will outline our project. In the other concept we want to solve the problems that countries that have been ravaged by poverty and natural disasters face in building back up their lives. We feel this will also solve any problems of bonding in the group for they will be together doing fulltime service, thus causing great group unity. This will enhance the group life and help them do larger group projects later on when they return to the states. We also feel that by showing the campus that service is something that we choose to do on our free time, especially on long breaks, they will become more active, thus ending the problem of campus apathy.


Big Idea

Our big idea has two parts: 1.When students go abroad they often feel the pressure to do service in an area where they do not have the resources that they would normally find through Bonner on their campuses. This is due to first of all being separated from their familiar settings and also the language barrier which they face. That is why we think it would be a good idea that for their service they help to teach others the language of English which they are used to on their college campuses. We feel that this will give them the confidence they would need in order to do this service because they are familiar with what they are teaching. This service will be particularly excellent because they will be bringing a unique attribute to the country and filling a gap which native foreign speakers could not fill. In doing this the Bonner will feel a connection to the country and the culture, for they will learn from their students as well enhancing the study abroad concept.

2. Last year our group started to play with the idea of doing service abroad. Due to problems in the countries which we were considering this did not happen, but it did inspire our group to try to think of new possibilities. We had great success as a group when we went to Mississippi for Habitat for Humanity, for we grew as a group outside of the Ursinus College environment in helping the needy families out. This is a great kickstart to taking this week-long service activity oversees. We think that it would be a great idea to take our very dedicated group to Jamaica for the spring break period in order to build homes which had been destroyed by natural disasters. It would be very rewarding to also help out in a country where most go to have fun. We will be able to see the other side of the popular resort island. These plans are already in the works, we just need help to make it a success.


Action Plan

In doing this project we will be using all of the Bonners to get this project off the ground. We hope that all of them will feel that this project is exciting and worthy of their time and attention. We also have a service center, refered to as UCARE whose help in this project would be invaluable. Our teacher/advisor for Bonner is very supportive of both service domestic and abroad and would be a great help in any plans. We feel that the concept of study abroad and service abroad is something that anyone can get excited about. We hope that this will encourage others, not just Bonners to do service abroad!

We want to learn about what other reps have done for service abroad and the challenges they faced, so that we can better prepare ourselves and our plans!



Anything Else

We are really excited to learn from you!



Which Groups Will You Be In?

Service Abroad or First Year Trips or Building a Bonner Leadership team



Review the guidelines on the project before getting started: Bonner Congress Project Proposal Guidelines.pdf

For a written proposal example click here: Mock Congress Proposal .pdf

For a video example click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz7Nbw7XFTI



Update - Report to Share in the 20th Anniversary Congress Booklet

We intend to create a beautifully designed book to be distributed at the 20th Anniversary Summer Leadership Institute that shares with the entire Bonner Network the work of Congress Representatives in 2009-2010 on their big ideas. Please write your report in the format below. For an example, click on this page:  http://bonnernetwork.pbworks.com/Big-Idea-Summaries


1) Title (of your project/big idea - feel free to update from the fall).


2) The Case: Tell us briefly the history of the challenge you tackled with your Big Idea. This should be no more than 100 words.


3) The Solution:  What is your Big Idea?  What was the idea to tackle this challenge?  This should be no more than 300 words.


4) The Process: Tell us in more detail what your Big Idea is.  Please illustrate how your “Big Idea” addresses the root issues of the problems you are working with.  What are the specific issues, needs, or gaps your idea sought to improve and how did it improve them?  This should be no more than 500 words (two paragraphs).


Please upload 2-3 relevant photos (of your Reps, project, etc.).  Try to select photos that have high resolution quality. This will appear in the booklet.


The deadline for this update if you want your school to be considered and included in the book is FRIDAY, APRIL 30th!





March 2010


June 2010



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