The University of Calgary and Students' Union are coming to paint the town red with millions of dollars thanks to the Quality Money Initiative. The collaboration between the Students' Union and university administration will see nine new projects, such as a campus bike initiative, a co-curricular transcript and an SU Wellness Centre being funded by $1.4 million.
The campus saw a new media campaign by the SU and the U of C Communication Department displaying the success of the QMI with large television screens set outside the SU office in efforts to raise awareness.
SU president Julie Bogle explained SU presidents from other universities often question her about the quality money project and she felt the video was able to better promote it.
"We felt that it was necessary to show the greater community what can happen when students have the ability to put money behind the projects they feel essential to improve the student experience," said Bogle. "We're now in our fourth year of operations and are able to truly see the impact these initiatives have had on the student experience."
Vice-provost students Ann Tierney agreed.
"The Administration thinks both [the] Students' Union and Graduate Students' Association have made very valuable investments in the student experience on campus and we are very proud to be associated with this initiative," said Tierney.
Tierney explained the $1.4 million comes from the university budget, comprised of funds from government grants, tuition revenue, and donations.
"We build the quality money right into the budget," said Tierney.
Bogle explained that the Quality Money Committee and the SU used a set of formulas in making recommendations to determine whether a proposal gets funded or not. The decision is based on the proposal's universal appeal, tangible benefits, responsiveness to students' needs, suitability and the results of plebiscites.
"A number of proposals were unsuccessful this year because we felt that they fell into university administration's role instead," said Bogle.
The nine projects being funded by the QMI include a campus bike initiative, Undergraduate Peer Mentorship, the Co-curricular Transcript Program and SU clubs awards.
Bogle said the Campus Bike Initiative project--receiving $35,503--would assist students in providing an on-campus bike co-operative which would allow students to borrow bikes and acquire repairing skills.
"The bike initiative would also help support the sustainability efforts the SU is undertaking on campus, as showcased during Enviropalooza," said Bogle.
Tierney stressed the importance of the co-curricular transcripts funded with $239,014. It is based on a model used at Sir Wilfred Laurier University and would encourage more students to engage in extra-curricular activities.
"It improves the student's experience by providing recognition of importance of involvement, which is important when students apply for jobs," said Tierney.
The SU and university hope to encourage more student involvement through SU Club awards.
"The Students' Union will offer 10 annual scholarships of $1,000 for a three-year period, based on the criteria which focus on students who have made significant contributions to SU-sanctioned clubs," said Bogle.
Both Bogle and Tierney are excited about building undergraduate peer mentoring into courses across the university.
"Mentorship funding would assists students as they go through university and provides additional support to those needing extra advising," noted Tierney.
Other projects, such as an SU Wellness Centre, MSC South Courtyard Renovation, MSC computer kiosks, Inter-Institutional Residence feasibility study and summer work experience would receive funding as well.