Five projects receive funding

The Accessible Learning Centre was approved for new software, upgrades and training for their technology to help over 300 ALC students at Laurier.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros
Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

The third increment of the 2015-16 Student Life Levy projects have been approved and budgeted in preparation for the next school year. Of the 18 projects proposed, only five were given funding.

The SLL is funded by undergraduate students and supports special one-time projects to enhance their experience at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus.

The approved projects are Accessible Software Access, Building Conflict Capacity, Autism Spectrum Disorder Continuum, Success Without Stress and The Global Kitchen Project.

The combination of all five projects will cost $50,814.53, which leaves over $500,000 still available for projects that will enhance student life.

Matt McLean, chair of the board and chief governance officer for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union shared details on the initiative itself and the kinds of criteria the SLL committee has when choosing new proposed projects.

“We want to fund projects based off their merit and their application to this fund as a whole rather than simply saying we have the money therefore we are going to disperse it,” he said.

One such implementation is the Building Conflict Capacity Project, which is a “train the trainer” program.

This will help deliver and certify university staff and student leaders to provide training on an annual basis, said McLean.

McLean noted the project was specifically appealing because it is sustainable.

“Once you do train those initial trainers they can kind of provide the training moving forward, even though it is a one-time funding.”

McLean touched on the fact that there is still over $500,000 sitting untouched for funding.

He said this is an important factor, as the money does roll over from year to year and the school would rather fund projects that fit within the criteria of this fund instead of approving unnecessary projects.

“It’s almost nice to have this amount of money because we could have a student that comes forward with an amazing project with high impact that we really like and we can fund it. For example, the Wellness Centre was one that we funded last year,” he said. “I would argue the impact of that is very far reaching and well worth the money in that regard.”

McLean admitted in recent years the quality of applications submitted has decreased, although he said this year has been better than most due to the higher volume of applicants from students.

He explained this is a “project fund that the students themselves have the opportunity to send in ideas,” yet most do not utilize this opportunity.

One of the applications chosen this year was by a student.

The Students’ Union hopes to solve the lack of student applications and awareness as a whole.

“It starts with marketing, getting the awareness about this project out there and making sure students know the amount of money is there. This year we’ve experienced challenges with our marketing department because of different transitions.”

There is no set date to when these projects will take effect, but they should be on schedule to start over the summer.

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