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Centre College Big Idea, 2011-2012

Page history last edited by Patrick Noltemeyer 9 years, 2 months ago




Congress Reps for 2011-2012

  • Matt Schendstok
  • Elizabeth Brandt
  • Jacob Eades


What's Your Big Idea Category? (please bold which one)

- Student Leadership & Development

- Community Partnerships & Impact

- Campus Culture & Coordination

- Policy & Change Campaigns 




In 400 words or less, please describe your Big Idea. What is it and why have you decided to work on it this year? How may it strengthen your program, campus, and/or community?


Our proposal is a service tag-along. Basically what we plan to do is encourage our Bonners to visit other Bonner service sites with a Bonner who goes there on a regular basis. We will encourage our Bonners to do this several times a year on an individual basis that fits their schedule. This idea was based off of the sophomore service exchange which we feel is a great chance for our sophomore Bonners to really feel what it's like in another Bonners shoes.

We feel this plan is beneficial for student leadership because it gives the Bonner who regularly attends the opportunity to show others their service sites. By showing the ropes of the service site the veteran Bonner can teach the tag-along Bonner what their site is all about. Even more excitingly, the tag-along Bonner will be able to expand their service horizons by seeing what other service sites are all about. This allows them to not only appreciate each other's sites more and give them a more diverse service experience, but it can also help them get ideas at their regular service site.

Sometimes Bonners at Centre have a hard time connecting with people outside their own grade levels, especially outside of retreats. While this isn't intentional, it can still impede a sense of community. This is why for out service tag-along we will highly discourage tag-along's with Bonners of the same grade. This is meant to allow people who may not often times communicate to form a deeper bond.

Centre's Bonners are a busy bunch, so we try not to overload them with even more things. The great thing about the service exchange is that it doesn't force our Bonners to spend a huge additional amount of time on Bonner, while still being very impactful. For example, unlike most forms of reflection, the service tag-along is done with direct service which not only keeps the Bonner interacted with his/her work, but also helps the community in a more direct way than most reflection can. All the while this direct service shouldn't be a drain on students with very busy schedules because it's done at times that they would be at their sites anyway.



In 400 words or less, please describe your strategy. The following questions should draw out the tools, resources, and support you are using to promote and achieve your Big Idea. You'll have a chance to flesh out your plan, but here is a chance to get the basics down: 


  • Which Bonner staff on your campus has committed to helping you achieve this Big Idea?
  • Who's on your team? Please share how you may be involving:
    • fellow Bonners
    • other students on campus
    • community partners
    • faculty members
    • administration
  • What resources will you leverage to help you achieve your Big Idea? 
  • What three things will you accomplish by the end of this academic year (think SLI 2012)? 


As always our wonderful coordinator and supervisors are behind anything that can help Centre's Bonner program thrive. An advantageous aspect of our Big Idea is that it uses very little resources. Other than the need for the Bonner to schedule their tag-along's few resources of the program need to be used outside of direct service.  
Our team:
Fellow Bonners: Our goal is to involve every Bonner in our program in the tag-along. We understand that some of our Bonners attend sensitive sites where a tag-along may not be appropriate, but we hope that those Bonners still tag-along at a less sensitive site.

Other students on campus: The nature of the plan means that our Big Idea will only have a small impact on the other students on Centre's campus in a direct way. Still, we have organizations on campus such as Alpha Pi Omega (a service organization) which we could include once the tag-along we more solidified in our program.

Community partners: Our community partners are the biggest asset we have. Obviously the tag-along will ask a lot of our partners because the influx of people could be a bit much for some of our partners. Also, some partners rely on the Bonners to such a great extent that it may be hard for them to part with the Bonners they have on the tag-along days. Furthermore, there are community partners who simply cannot allow the tag-along's because the service (such as with abused children) is too sensitive. to minimize problems we plan to contact each community partner in advance to get the thumbs up (or down) on tag-along's at their sites. Luckily, Centre has wonderful community partners filled with lovely people so we don't foresee much of a problem there.

By the end of the academic year we hope to: 1) Have every Bonner who isn't working at a sensitive service site to lead a tag-along. 2) Have every Bonner be a "tag-alonger". 3) Have each Bonner discuss their experiences in a Bonner meeting.


Please draft some of your benchmark goals into the framework below:


  • Bonner Congress October 7-9, 2011: Prepare our Big Idea and discuss it with our Bonner advisors
  • MLK Day January 16, 2012: talked with all Site supervisors and begin the tag-along
  • IMPACT Conference late March 2012: have over half our members done and or sponsored a tag-along
  • SLI June 4-7, 2012:  every member lead and gone to a tag-along 




A good Big Idea proposal is one that connects with broader goals you may have for your program, campus, or community. Please answer the questions below, which should help you think through those larger themes.


  • What will be different in 2014 as a result of your Big Idea (thinking in a 3-year strategic plan)?

Our members will better understand just how diverse service can be. They will take their experiences from their tag-along's and apply them to their regular service sites.

  • How might your plan affect some of the issues and ideas seen in the Think 2040 video?

By broadening our service horizons we are more able to understand the intricacies of the non profit sector. The tag-along will help us shape the world we want to live in by 2040



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