By Jessica Broverman, Contributing Writer
West Liberty University’s very first Awesome Project has given all students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to improve the campus community. The Awesome Project was created last year by Professor Lou Karas’s Fund Raising and Grant Writing class in an effort to increase involvement at WLU. The total amount of funding for this project came to $1,250, and many students submitted ideas as to how the WLU campus could be improved with such funds.
“The project was funded by the Center for Arts & Education and the winners were selected through an application process that was designed and managed by the students in my class,” said Karas, the center’s director. “The students were responsible for selecting the winner.” Karas also said that this class will be offered every other year and that students may sign up for Fund Raising and Grant Writing later on in 2018.
There were two winners of the initial Awesome Project, Luke Tkaczyk and Jim Compston. The items they brought to the Hilltop with their win included a Bluetooth speaker and an event tent. Campus Activities Coordinator Kate Billings commented on how these items have been utilized up to this point.
“The speaker has been utilized a ton, and we were able to buy two tents with the grant money,” Billings said. She went on to say that the tent was used for the first time during this week’s ice cream sandwiches on the quad event.
The Beta Basketball Court was also to receive some upgrades.
“It’s supposed to have been given the funds for two pole pads, a picnic table, and a volleyball net. The volleyball net is with us and is ready to be set up soon,” Billings said.
Tkaczyk had submitted that proposal and he was actually hired in August to join our staff. The court got repaved, which had to be completed ahead of time. So, the setup of that has been delayed due to him transitioning to full time in the housing office and the paving.
The picnic table was not purchased due to lack of funds, however. Billings mentioned that the university could have purchased a wooden picnic table, but that it would not survive through the harsh weather conditions.
“The heavy duty metal ones we have around campus are ideal, but didn’t fit in the budget,” Billings said. The two pole pads and volleyball net are still anticipated to become a permanent fixture on the Beta Basketball court.
To learn more about the Awesome Project and the Fund Raising and Grant Writing class, you may contact Karas at [email protected].