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UISG starts new initiative, Iowa Ideas

BY LINDSEY DRILLING | OCTOBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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University of Iowa Student Government officials said they are pleased with the progress of a crowdsourcing initiative, but they hope to see it expand to more of the campus.

Iowa Ideas, which was launched over the summer, is a place for students to share and collaborate on ideas for campus improvement.

“If you ever had an idea that was really good that just disappeared as time passed on, this is a place to keep them,” UISG Vice President Jeffrey Ding said.

The campaigns featured on Iowa Ideas focus on UISG services, safety, sustainability, affordability, diversity, advocacy, student life, and general programming.

So far, 218 users, 20 ideas, 33 comments, and 372 votes have been cast on the Iowa Ideas platform.
In an effort to spread awareness of student ideas launched on the platform, Ding said UISG officials hope to expand to administrators to increase the aid available to students.

The group is also exploring the idea of adding Iowa Ideas to the Launch Pad on university computers.

Currently, students in UISG run the program. But once UI students post something, others are able to comment or like it. An email is also sent out to every student that posts, as well as to university officials who could help implement the idea.

The previous UISG president and vice president started working on the initiative with ITS, and Ding said he added the finishing touches to the program over the summer.

“We worked on launching it over the summer and then into the fall semester,” Ding said. “We had a soft launch over the summer and a bigger launch this fall.”

Ding said ITS aided the creation of the program — it created the platform and covered the cost for the entire contract.

Some of the ideas on the platform can be put in UISG’s annual budget and some need to be implemented with the help of the community and faculty members, Ding said.

Currently, UISG is working on making the top four ideas on Iowa Ideas a reality, which include travel support for clubs, apartment recycling, a Pick Any Major fair, and painting tunnels on Iowa Avenue.

UISG Community Outreach Director Morgan Brittain, as well as the rest of the UISG members, has already started working on some of these ideas.

“UISG has already started working with the city government and landlords to see how much recycling would cost,” he said. “It’s a process we are currently working on so that everyone can have affordable recycling.”

Brittain said he is also working on the idea to paint a mural on the tunnels.

“I am working on painting the tunnels with a mural to liven up the concrete,” he said. “We just really want to liven this space up.”

Ding said some of the ideas for the mural could range from famous Iowa alumni to scenes of the state of Iowa. 

Brittain said the implementation of the program has been positive but getting even more people involved will help measure success. 

“A lot of people on campus have some great ideas on how to make this a better place to go to school,” Brittain said.


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