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ADP shows you the money: Grant program puts funds into students hands
Kimberly Gerdes
Antelope Staff
Photo by Kimberly Gerdes
Professor Anderson of political science said this is the time to be an entrepreneur.

Activities on campus are usually put together by faculty with student help, but what if the ideas for campus events came straight from the students? Students make the plans. They set up the budgets and completely execute the event.

American Democracy Project Innovation Grants put the students in complete control of events on campus. 

“The whole idea is to get more people involved with campus and the community. People really start to get engaged when they are interested in the event,” said John Anderson, professor of political science and American Democracy Project coordinator. 

The program runs on $2,000 budget of support grants allocated through student proposals.  Successful proposals must show ample evidence of collaboration with another student or organization. The efforts must show a direct impact on campus life and a measurable impact on a large number of people.

The advisory board anticipates funding four projects at $500 each, but encourages students to find other funding sources to supplement the grants. Money from the grant must be used to pay for things like travel, advertisements and materials needed to successfully complete the project.  No money will be provided for individual stipends or payments. The student or students applying must submit a budget and a detailed budget narrative. The details of the budget narrative will need to be carefully explained. 

The idea to start an innovation grant at UNK came when campus coordinators attended a conference where other schools were communicating about their innovation grant programs.  Currently, 200 schools in the nation have a similar grant process in place, including nearby Fort Hays State University.

Anderson said these student proposals are an important learning process.

“Democracy is collaborative. We want people to reach out to others. We want people to come together to do something, people who want to do something for the campus and community.”

Anderson said, “If students have dreamt of something that would make this a better place, this is the way to go for it.”

Grant proposals must be turned in to the ADP Coordinator by Nov. 1. 

Grant proposals should be cleared with one of the following persons before final submission to the ADP Coordinator: political science professor John Anderson, Senior Vice Chancellor Charles Bicak or professor of biology Kim Carlson.

Projects that are funded can begin by Nov. 7.  A series of checkup meetings will be held with successful grantees in December, February and later in the spring. Students and organizations on campus are strongly encouraged to apply and work out their ideas with the advisory board.

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