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Washington and Lee University Big Idea Proposal, 2011-2012

Page history last edited by Melissa Medeiros 8 years, 9 months ago




Congress Reps for 2011-2012

  • Janeille Rollins, '13 
  • Grace Lee, '15 


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?


This year our Bonner Program is focusing on increasing campus-wide knowledge and involvement in our local community. We hope to increase the campus-wide engagement as well as awareness of community issues. Our Bonners will be leading the effort in hope of breaking the general student population barrier to the surrounding Rockbridge community. In embracing the resources we have on campus, we hope to foster more campus initiative and interest. It will also aid relationships with the local community and help volunteers at their various service placements to feel more connected to their work.



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: 


In order to effectively engage a greater population, the we will be working in smaller issue-based teams. These teams will each focus on a specific social justice topic that they feel needs greater attention and they would like to take action on throughout the year.  Issue based teams will be meeting on a regular basis to plan events, speakers or learn more about their topic area. Because each Bonner will have different service placements, we hope these teams can act not only as a large resource base but also as a way to learn about different placements in the community. They will utilize other students, fellow Bonners, and community leaders/organizations. By the end of this year, our goal is to have had each issue based group put on at least two educational events or meetings that are open to the entire W&L community. Specifically each group will hold some sort of awareness event in the fall semester and some action-focused event during the winter.

In addition, our program’s Bonner Leadership Team will work with out campus’ general service organization (Nabors Service League) to host mini-service days and other awareness events.


  • Which Bonner staff on your campus has committed to helping you achieve this Big Idea?

    • Melissa Medeiros, Bonner Coordinator
    • Stephanie Furlong, VISTA member
    • Alex Shabo, Bonner Senior Intern 
  • Who's on your team? Please share how you may be involving:
    • fellow Bonners: Bonner Leadership Team & Issue-based Team Leaders
    • other students on campus: Nabors Service League
    • community partners
    • faculty members
    • administration
  • What resources will you leverage to help you achieve your Big Idea? 
    • Community partners, other campus organizations, faculty and staff 
  • What three things will you accomplish by the end of this academic year (think SLI 2012)? 

    • The campus will be more aware about a variety of social justice issues and will feel greater empowerment to take action.
    • More students will be active volunteers in the local community
    • The Bonners will have a greater knowledge base about topics related to their service sites and will feel more empowered (and have a clearer direction) on how they can impact these issues.




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


  • Bonner Congress October 7-9, 2011:

      • Each issue-based team will have identified a topic area they will focus on for the year and will start mapping out a plan on how they will create greater awareness about the topic on campus
    • MLK Day January 16, 2012:

        • Each issue-based team will have held an awareness event
        • The BLT will have helped organize two service days or other awareness events in partnership with Nabors Service League


      • IMPACT Conference late March 2012:

          • Each issue-based team will have a well-developed plan to host an action-oriented event/activity related to their topic
        • SLI June 4-7, 2012:

            • Each issue-based team will have hosted some action-oriented event/activity related to their topic
            • The BLT will have helped organize four service days or awareness events (over the course of the year) in partnership with the Nabors Service League 




          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)?

          We hope by the end of the year, students on campus will be more involved in local community organizations and volunteer numbers will have risen in various service placements. We also hope that the campus will be more knowledgeable about a variety of social justice issues.  In addition, we hope to have the Bonners in each issue based group find a passion for what they have invested their semesters in and really find a stronger tie to the community.


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




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