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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

This year’s student initiatives

The CRSSJ is going to be relocated to make way for a new admissions building. Photo by Mahira Faran.

The Student Initiative Fund (STIFund) provides a way for students to use campus funds to reform or contribute to Grinnell’s campus. Initiatives from the past have come to be staples of the Grinnell community, including campus bikes, the swing set outside Younker and to-go boxes.

This semester, Max Hill ’20, Emily Burgess ’19 and Jasper Cole-Kink ’19 are a few of the students who have expressed their desires and concerns by creating their own student initiative proposals to help to make Grinnell a better campus in various ways.

Hill’s initiative is to acquire a school-wide Grammarly subscription. Grammarly is a proof-reading platform that checks for mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and style. It also has a spell check feature and detects plagiarism. Grammarly costs $29.95 a month, making this a pricy expenditure for many individual students but not for a college community.

Hill has been frustrated at how difficult it can be to get into the writing lab for an appointment and believes that Grammarly would help students by proofreading without the hassle of setting up an appointment or the challenge of there being few available appointment times.

“It is really hard to get into the writing lab, and most of my errors came from proofreading,” Hill said. “The school has a lot of money. Let’s see if we can do this to help supplement the Writing Lab.”

Burgess has proposed two initiatives: putting an EZH20 water bottle filler in Noyce in the 1600 hallway and putting professor quotes back on PioneerWeb. There are already water fountains with water hookups present in the 1600 hallway in Noyce, making the EZH20 filler a relatively easy change to make.

“Noyce is the only large, academic building without [this fountain], and a lot of the drinking fountains are really shallow. With the shallow drinking fountains, it’s difficult to fill up your water bottle, and I think it would be a lot more convenient for students to have one there,” Burgess said.

Professor quotes used to appear on PioneerWeb whenever the page was reloaded, providing the user with a funny or insightful quote from a professor on campus.

“[They’re] just enjoyable,” Burgess said. “I really enjoyed it and I think a lot of other people did too.”

Lauren Schweitzer ’20 has begun to get signatures for an initiative to retain the Muslim Prayer Center that is currently in the CRSSJ as well as create a Hindu Prayer Center. The CRSSJ is going to be relocated to make way for a new admissions building, and the change in layout is planned to remove the Muslim Prayer Center. Students have created a petition to encourage administration to work to keep it, and now Schweitzer is using a potential student initiative for that purpose.

Cole-Kink has provided their own initiative to better Grinnell, specifically the dining hall. Cole-Kink advocates their distaste towards Scooper Hero ice cream with their initiative to replace this ice cream flavor with sorbet, or another non-dairy dessert. Their proposal would allow students with dietary restrictions who don’t eat dairy to enjoy a frozen desert that they have been unable to in the past.

“Removing Scooper Hero started as a joke. But then we realized people who are lactose intolerant, people who are vegan, need an option,” Cole-Kink said.

“I’d like to make it very clear ScooperHero is not an actual ice cream flavor,” Cole-Kink added. “It’s vanilla pretending to be something it’s not.”

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