ASG approves five finalists for 2014 10K Initiative

Ally Mutnick, Campus Editor

Associated Student Government announced Wednesday the final choices for its 10K Initiative, with a Lakefill swing set and the ability to use Munch Money in select downtown Evanston businesses among the five proposals. 

After receiving more than 200 submissions from Northwestern students, faculty and staff, a committee narrowed the submissions down to five options, all of which were approved as finalists at the Senate meeting.

Along with the swing set and Evanston Munch Money, other options are more comfortable chairs for the library, increased outdoor lighting for North Campus trees and a wildcat statue outside of Norris University Center. 

 “There was a lot of really unique and different options that I think will satisfy a wide range of students,” said Alex Van Atta, ASG executive vice president. “All five of them are really great options that I think are a really big improvement over last year’s and the previous year’s.”

Members of the 10K committee explained their ideas and gave details to Senate before it approved the options.

The “Munch Money in Evanston” idea would bring scanners to an estimated eight to 10 downtown Evanston business and restaurants. The 10K committee members said they hope businesses will subsidize the scanners, which could cost up to $2,500 each.

Weinberg sophomore Evan Frohman, a member of the 10K committee, said Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president for student auxiliary services, thought the idea would be popular with Evanston companies, though ASG has yet to approach them.

“She was 100 percent sure that businesses would do this,” Frohman said. “If not, she would be able to contribute the money.”

The voting will be conducted through Wildcat Connection. An email announcing voting will likely go out by the end of the week, Van Atta said. Members of the NU community can vote until the end of the quarter, and the winner will be announced early in Spring Quarter.

Many of the 200 proposed ideas were overlapping. Committee members combined some ideas and cut others that were not feasible or would not benefit the entire campus.

Other proposals suggested new SafeRide cars or heating lamps for bus stops, but Van Atta said those proposals would have been too expensive.

This year all $10,000 allocated for the initiative came from ASG funds. Previously, the Department of Student Affairs had supplied half the money. Van Atta said ASG decided to fund the entire project this year so they could have more say in which project was chosen.

Originally a 5K initiative, ASG used $5,000 to bring Wi-Fi to the Lakefill by Fall Quarter 2012. Senate voted to double that amount in October 2012 and expanded the timeline of the process. Students can submit proposals during the fall, a committee researches ideas and selects finalists during the winter and the project is implemented in the spring. 

The 2013 10K initiative brought outdoor picnic benches and tables around campus to create community spaces. The 10K Initiative ideas received 2,000 votes and the final proposal was chosen out of about 500 submissions. 

Rebecca Savransky contributed reporting.

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