Non-ASG students will have the chance to join a committee to allot funds for campus projects submitted online, in a recently approved ASG program.
The 5K Initiative, a program championed by Austin & Ash in their campaign, aims to involve students in ASG by choosing a $5,000 project for Northwestern’s campus through suggestions and votes by students.
“Students are the ones providing the ideas and voting, and are really the impetus behind what happens,” said ASG President Austin Young. “So, it’s an opportunity for students to directly say, you know, if I had $5,000, what would I spend it on?”
The program will begin Wednesday with an election allowing for students to join the 5K Committee at 7 p.m. in the Northwestern Room. The Committee will be made up of three students unaffiliated with ASG, three ASG members and Young. During the election, non-ASG students may introduce themselves and describe the perspective they would bring to the new committee. Senators will then vote on the top three applicants.
The 5K Initiative is based off of a project at Yale University, according to Young. Ideas from Yale’s program included projects to improve the environment, portable water fountains and a DVD library. While Northwestern’s version of the program is not limited by type of project, the Committee will take into account logistical criteria such as the amount of people at the university and in the community benefiting from the project, sustainability and adherence to local, federal and university laws when reviewing submissions.
Students can submit their suggestions online during the first three weeks of the quarter. The 5K Committee will meet weekly from Week Four to Week Eight to research the feasibility and costs of ideas submitted and determine the most reasonable of the bunch. The committee members will lead this quarter’s initiative all the way to its execution.
All undergraduate students can vote for one of the five final projects electronically near the end of the quarter. The popular vote will then decide a project to be implemented immediately, and to occur before the end of Spring Quarter.
In exchange for ASG promising $5,000, through the student activities fees, to the 5K Initiative by the end of Winter Quarter, the Vice President of Student Affairs has offered $5,000 for ASG to continue the program for a second quarter in spring.
“We’ll execute it and see the results, and make sure it is funded for next year and the years after,” said Young.