Fall 2015 Innovation Grants

To:                        The St. Lawrence Community
From:                    Innovation Grants Committee
Date:                     December 14, 2015
Subject:                 Fall 2015 Grant Results

Now in its sixth year, the Innovation Grants program has inspired so many wonderful programs on campus.  Take a moment, if you can, to review some of the past proposals as we celebrate the successful  Fall 2015 proposals.  The committee considered the second highest number of proposals in our six years.

Sustainability and diversity were themes among many proposals and are among our funded programs.  We will encourage to-go containers in the dining halls and the use of green bikes on campus; we will catalog a new collection of Chinese books and we will launch a peer mentor program for LGBTQetc students; we’ll enhance our service to the community, we’ll strengthen leadership skills, and we’ll have a chance to monitor our own health and wellness.  These are among the objectives of successful grant proposals.  The successful grants listed below all have the potential to offer transformative, positive change to campus life.  The committee members (Judith DeGroat, Zachary Hallock’17, Elaine White, Jeremy Freeman, and Lisa Cania) loved the variety of ideas in all proposals, and chose these seven to have the optimum effect on campus. 

To-Go Container Token Program
Lanika Sanders, Kealey Viglielmo, Cindy Atkins

11,880 disposable to-go containers are filled at Dana Dining Hall every year, clogging St. Lawrence’s waste stream and costing the university excessive funds. Last year, we started a reusable to-go container pilot program last year, providing a limited number of students with green containers to be filled and returned to Dana. Starting in January 2016, Dining Services will sponsor a campus-wide version of this program. All students, faculty, and staff will be able to obtain free green containers, fillable and returnable at Dana. The program will optimally be promoted at Johnson Grab-and-Go, Newell Time-Out Café, and the Douglas Hall Café in the future. Patrons must obtain their initial container within the first two weeks of the semester, after which a to-go meal will require presenting a used to-go container, $5, or a container token.  Tokens are key in allowing this program to be successful.  Tokens will alleviate the hassle of carrying around dirty units, instead providing the option to return them at a convenient time and receive a token for presentation upon getting their next to-go meal.

SLU Stay Healthy Station
Health and Wellness Committee
Among the conclusions of a recent campus Scorecard report by Relph Benefit Advisors was that high blood pressure could be an issue for many.  The Wellness Committee has discussed the concept of providing a blood pressure monitoring station on campus to help raise awareness about this vital health indicator and make it quick and easy to self-monitor.  We propose to contract with New York Blood Pressure, Inc., to provide a model LC300 (or similar) monitoring station. In addition to blood pressure, the station can also assess heart rate, weight, body mass index (BMI) and vision (color blindness).

Green Bikes Repair Stand
Max Lewis and Quinn Trainer

In recent years there has been a steady increase in circulation of the Green Bike, as well as an increase of cyclists in the biking community as a whole on campus. Due to this increase in demand for both the Green Bikes, and bicycle-related infrastructure on campus, it’s an ideal time to install a third self-contained outdoor repair stand outside of the Owen D. Young Library.  In order to support bikes at ODY, the Green Bikes program is also requesting funding to buy a Park Tools bike repair kit, which will live at Owen D. Young Library and be used to service the Green Bikes fleet at that location. This kit is durable and includes a wide array of shop quality tools. The program currently has a Park Tools repair kit located at Madill, where it will remain in order to support the bikes located there.

Captains’ Leadership Summit
Bob Durocher and Franco Bari

After recently completing a successful leadership training program this past
August, 60-70 St. Lawrence student athlete leaders will be asked to participate in
the Captain Leadership Summit in May of 2016. The purpose of the Captain
Leadership summit is to enable participants to gain the knowledge and
resources that will allow them to have the confidence and ability to 1)
assist their teams and groups to perform at their optimal level; 2)
understand the responsibilities that one carries in a position of leadership
and 3) facilitate cross campus conversations such as sexual assault prevention,
diversity and inclusion as well as additional student programming.   

Queer Peers Program
Ashlee Downing and Brandon Studler

Our goal is to support students’ positive sexual orientation, gender identity and successful transition to life at St. Lawrence University.  Through peer-to-peer meetings in a safe and confidential environment, mentees drawn from all class years will connect and develop a rapport with Queer Peers mentors—students who identify as LGBTQ and are interested in assisting incoming or current students. Relationships with mentors provide a variety of benefits to mentees: acceptance; positive role modeling; regional and national resources; networking; support and guidance on navigating life at SLU as a member of the LGBTQ community. Mentor training each semester will include cultural competency, negotiating identity, personal safety, leadership and mentorship.  In addition to regular confidential meetings between mentees and mentors, the program will offer optional informal social events where they can meet for meals, movies, games, local excursions, and casual conversations.  Students who are looking for support with their sexual or gender identity and want to develop connections to the SLU LGBTQ community will benefit from both opportunities that the program will offer: the confidential mentorships and informal social events with like-minded students.

Campus Kitchens Oven Safety
Sean Morrissey, Ashlee Downing, Margot Nitschke

The Campus Kitchens Project works with the dining hall at St. Lawrence University and local farmers to recycle left over food into hot, nutritious meals for approximately 50 community residents a week. Our clients are mostly children or senior citizens. The Campus Kitchens provides numerous opportunities for CBL students and volunteers seeking experience in non-profit work. This grant will purchase, install and use a new oven in the Eben Holden Kitchen facility where our operation takes place. The current oven that we are using is unsafe and often fails at heating our prepared meals to industry standard food safe temperatures. The purchase and installation of a new oven will benefit our operations, expand the amount of food that can be prepared at one time and create a safe environment for our volunteers.

Building a Collection of Chinese Books
Zhenjun Zhang, Michael Alzo

Campus diversity is one of the key factors affecting the quality of the St. Lawrence student experience. Currently there are 63 students from China, and more and more Chinese students will be attending St. Lawrence in the near future. In order to further support efforts towards enriching diversity on campus and broadening the multicultural environment at St. Lawrence, ODY Library accepted a donation of Chinese scholarly works, and this grant will support the cataloging of the gifts.  This collection will be available to students, faculty, and staff at St. Lawrence, to those at other academic institutions with which we have consortial borrowing and lending arrangements, and to the local community.