Innovation Fund Draws Applicants

By Allison Tinsey

Student Commission’s Innovation Fund grants $5,000 to a student initiative that will benefit the campus for the long-term. StuComm received eight applications and narrowed the pool to six and will make their final decision during next week’s meeting. The student population was asked to express support for the initiatives in a survey. A brief description of each innovation is below and the information was provided by Student Commission and the applicants.


Access to Storytelling

The goal is to provide appropriate updates in equipment on campus for liberal artists of the 21st Century. Our physical, tangible goal is to buy 5 Canon T3i Digital Single Reflex Cameras with associated equipment to make modern, adequate film-making possible for all students across campus. The equipment would replace older cameras and could be used by multiple students in multiple departments to tell stories to audiences on and off campus.


Intelligence Squared, Kalamazoo

With this project, through bringing expert and well-renowned speakers to campus and allowing students to participate and listen to well reasoned debates, the innovators intend to broaden K’s horizons to create even more well-rounded and informed members of the campus community. These debates will provide arguments on current issues that will educate, challenge, solidify, and at times, change the views of members of the K-community as they learn valuable skills. This initiative is based off of the Intelligence Squared US organization and the debates will be carried out Oxford-style.


Kolors of K

In response to the Evergood mural in Welles Dining Hall, this innovation seeks to create a more representative art piece giving students from all walks of life and interested with varying experiences the opportunity to work together and create something beautiful. The Evergood mural is a reflection of the school from over 70 years ago. Kolors of K will be a collaborative effort to show the diversity of Kalamazoo College students now and for years to come, in order to make a symbolic change toward a more progressive College.


Leadership and Development Challenge Course

This unique challenge course will help build teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, and support in all groups, all while having fun, and challenging yourself and others. The LDCC will be located in Kalamazoo College’s very own Lillian Anderson Arboretum. All members of the community can enjoy the outdoors while learning how to make their group on campus a closer community. Additionally, the course will be incorporated with a program that will help students develop their leadership skills. The course will create an opportunity for students to grow as leaders and facilitators.


Let It Bee

Over the past few decades, native bees have experienced severe population decline across the nation. Let it Bee is a proposal for the installment of bee friendly ’buzz boxes’ on the periphery of Kalamazoo College’s campus. This permanent and dynamic project involves multiple departments across campus, including Facilities Management, Biology, and the Woodshop, who will collaborate with students to establish, maintain, and study these spaces. The buzz boxes would be safe havens for native bees in an ever-developing urban environment. They would raise awareness about the effect that humans have on the local environment and have an impact that would extend far beyond the limits of our campus.



This project would provide transportation to any students to local grocery stores like Target, Meijer, or Wal-Mart on Sundays. The program would be available for students with limited or no means of transportation, especially since the buses do not run on Sundays. The initial funds would come from the Innovation Fund, but to continue the program the participating students would be asked to pay a small fee similar to a bus fare. This would allow consistent access to perishable and refined packaged goods during the school year.


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