Great Ideas Committee announces three winners of the first annual competition

The Great Ideas Committee has released the results of its 2014-15 campaign. From a competitive pool of 400 submissions, the committee chose six finalists. After a round of voting, the student body selected the top three winning ideas.

The winners are: a bar night and games at ’82 Grill, suggested by Timeyin Olumide ’15; dorm open houses, suggested by Stephanie Li ’18; and creative art space located in Sawyer, suggested by Ariel Chu ’17.

The Great Ideas Campaign was started in the 2009-10 College Council (CC) year by then-treasurer Rachel Hudson ’10 and then-class representative Manny Yekutiel ’11 as a Winter Study project. Great Ideas has initiated programs including SuperFan, the textbook reserve program and the video game library.

This year’s Great Ideas Campaign made a change by opening board positions to the whole campus. In past years, the Great Ideas Committee board positions were occupied solely by members of CC. This year, six of the 12 positions on the Great Ideas Committee were opened to the entire school, so those who wanted to work with the Great Ideas selection process could self-nominate and participate.

This year’s six final ideas were selected based on their originality and feasibility. Many of the submissions included ideas that CC was already working on.

“Things like extending the gym hours, extending the pool hours, having more water filters around the campus, we are already working on,” Rani Mukherjee ’15, chair of the Great Ideas Committee, explained.

“There are also some ideas, such as snack bar delivery, that are infeasible at the moment. Another idea suggested is swiping student ID cards at the restaurants on Spring Street, which has been worked on for over a year, yet it still has not worked.”

Although some ideas are infeasible right now, they might work sometime in the future.

“Sometimes we try things we have already tried in the past and they work,” said Mukherjee. The current bike rental system was successfully established a few years ago, but only after three failed attempts from 2005-08.

CC has already started working to implement the winning ideas as soon as possible.

“Dorm Open House is not too difficult to facilitate, so it could be happening this year. We are actually meeting Lisa Champagne from ’82 Grill to discuss the plans for Bar Night, which is probably happening as well. Bar Night will be every Thursday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., after the Date Night program,” Mukherjee explained.

Additionally, the headphone rental program proposed by Daisy Banta ’18 and the self-taught language lab programs proposed by Jane Dai ’17 will also be explored by the committee despite the fact that the ideas did not make the top three in the competition.

The creative art space idea, however, is more difficult to execute. As Mukherjee pointed out, “Creative art space takes a lot more reconstruction and rethinking about space in Sawyer. We want to provide a space with art supplies for creative projects, as well as an area for people with different artistic talents, such as writers, musicians, and painters, to do collaborative work, hang out and so on. It is mostly likely to happen on the second floor in Sawyer, but we’ll see.”

Although the Great Ideas Campaign happens during Winter Study, the Committee takes submissions and works on projects throughout the year.