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Rutgers University Big Idea Proposal, 2011-2012

Page history last edited by Allison Warner 8 years, 12 months ago


Rutgers University


Congress Reps for 2011-2012

  • Kiana Gonzalez-Stork
  • Kevin Dahaghi 


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 vision for this year is to expand certain aspects of our experience with Bonner and AmeriCorps to the Rutgers general body and connect Rutgers more to the New Brunswick community. We would like to educate the Rutgers community on what it means to be a leader and how to effectively use leadership skills in community service settings. We want to set up a one- day of service event, that would incorporate a Bonner- led workshop on being a leader, and then going with the newly acquired skills into the community to do direct service. The service would be some sort of creative project done in collaboration with the New Brunswick youth. The project would be a physical art piece that would then be left in the community as a symbol of the integration of the two communities. We are considering working to creatively renovate park benches, bus stops, or existing parks.
       The reason we want to work on this aspect of community service is because we see a need to bring the Rutgers community and New Brunswick community together. We also feel that Rutgers students need the leadership skills and experience, not only for college but for the real world setting. This effort will give the Bonner program a leadership presence on campus and will also enhance our relationship with community partners and members. This idea will lead us to empower not only our fellow Bonners as leaders, but also to empower other Rutgers students to become leaders and get involved in the New Brunswick community, as well as empower the youth of New Brunswick to take pride and actively participate in their community.

     This idea will strengthen our program by providing a leadership presence on campus as well as in the New Brunswick community. It will allow people, the youth as well as the Rutgers students, to have more pride in their community and not destroy it. Although it is one day of service it will have a lasting effect for both communities through the experience as well as the physical art work that is created and left in the community. The idea will form networks between the different organizations within Rutgers as well as with the with community partners, that will hopefully spark further collaboration within the community.



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? Amy Michael, Claudio Mir, Enrique Noguera, Allison Warner
  • Who's on your team? Please share how you may be involving (see below): 
    • fellow Bonners
    • other students on campus
    • community partners
    • faculty members
    • administration
  • fellow Bonners will be involved in planning and executing the event. They will be in charge of facilitating and coordination the event, as well as the volunteers. Other students on campus will be helping us put the event together (Student Volunteer Council) or they will be attending the event and serving as volunteers to do direct service in the community. We will be working with community partners to receive donations for the art supplies and to get approval for the community project. We would also like to incorporate other Bonner programs in the day of service, such as  MCC Bonners. We will be working with faculty members and administration to gain advice and support with the event planning.
  • What resources will you leverage to help you achieve your Big Idea? 

      We will use the following resources to help us achieve our Big Idea: our time, donations (money), community resources (approvals), community support, as well as Rutgers student and faculty support.

  • What three things will you accomplish by the end of this academic year (think SLI 2012)? 

By the end of this academic year we hope to have our event done, documentation so the event can be replicable at any Bonner school (uploaded to Bonner wiki), and a plan in action to have the creations maintained, and have the networks that were made between Rutgers and the community reinforced.



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


  • Bonner Congress October 7-9, 2011:
    Oct. 29: Have research complete on what the project will be. (ie. what art project will be done.
    Nov. 5: Have co-sponsors in place for the event.
    Nov. 26: Meet with co-sponsors to begin the day planning. Begin looking for donations for art supplies.
    Dec. 3: Identify community organizations to get youth to participate.
    MLK Day January 16, 2012:
    Jan. 30: Details of the day must be in the process of being worked out (transportation, food, ect.)
    Event date is unsure- somewhere between March and April.
    IMPACT Conference late March 2012:
    Towards the end of May we will have a steady network between the community and Rutgers and can perhaps make some group trips back to the new sites of the art pieces.





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)?

In three years, hopefully the Rutgers community will be much more integrated into the New Brunswick community, and partnerships between the two will be common and effective for both communities.


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

Our plan will tackle the social issues of the physical well-being of damaged communities, the misuse of public space, lack of leadership amongst high-school students in New Brunswick and the fading lines of communication between Rutgers and the community is lies within. By creating physical structures that symbolize the meaning of Bonners, we will enlighten high-school students to believe that their work is just as significant as that of an architect. We intend to construct a beautiful community and that process begins with the physical appearance. By cleaning parks, bus stops, benches and other public space we are lessening the chance of loitering, homelessness and illness. People are prone to loitering in an area that is filled with litter already. By removing said litter, we are weakening the intent to litter. The more beautiful to community appears the more positive the attitudes and actions of its citizens are. The misuse of public space is prevalent in parks. A park on French Street in New Brunswick is a prime example that we wish to repair. Parks are established to promote community gathering and environmental well-being. Many parks, however, fail to provide a peaceful vibe due to litter, misplaced benches and paths and various other atrocities. New Brunswick high-school students will be able to develop leadership skills and join a network of highly educated college students that can serve as mentors. By instilling principles of leadership such as inspiring a shared vision and modeling the way into a high-school student, we will be providing an advantage for them to cultivate their skills for civic engagement. This will encourage them to be active members of their community for many years. The need for the Rutgers and New Brunswick communities to further integrate is crucial. Colleges need not to dissociate from the communities near them as the actions of a college directly and indirectly affect those communities. The potential for both communities to collaborate together will lead to new opportunities and resources for both New Brunswick citizens and Rutgers students.



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