Coming into this new semester, the Idea Fund has many goals and objectives in mind. The weekend prior to the first week of classes, the Executive Board had a retreat to identify our goals and ideal future direction. Our five key focuses for the year will be on recruitment, idea development, rebranding, internal collaboration and team building, and events. First and foremost on our minds is “What IF?” We will be challenging ourselves and others to consider this throughout this school year in all of our teams and in terms of all of our goals.
We are aiming to recruit new members to each of our four teams, Project Consulting, PR & Marketing, Community Outreach, and Finance & Liability, as well as to the organization as a whole. We hit the ground running with recruitment and idea generation at Farm Frolics on September 3rd and at the Activities Fair on September 4th. At both events, various members of the Executive Board manned a table on which Dickinsonians could get on our mailing list and could brainstorm their ideas for improving campus. These ideas ranged from an insomnia cookies distribution system to cubbies in the library to store extra books to community hammocks. This was a creative space that effectively got the campus thinking about what they might want changed and how they would go about doing it. This ties into our goal to attract more ideas and projects. Creating an open and creative space off the bat to attract students helped to get the gears turning again. Following those recruitment events, the Idea Fund hosted the first Monday Monthly Meetup of the year on September 5th. Our Executive Director, Brady Hummel ‘17, caught everybody up to speed to the past, present, and future of Idea Fund, then team leaders led short workshops to help new and returning Idea Funders to find their niche in the organization.
Following the first MMM, the office saw its first week of meetings for the year. Community Outreach, Project Consulting, PR & Marketing, and the Executive Board met, and Finance & Liabilities will resume meetings this week under the guidance of Director Joe Keiger ‘18.
Jackie Goodwin ‘17, the Director of PR & Marketing, has been hard at work rebranding the organization. Our aim is to rebrand ourselves in a simplistic yet informative way. We realize that past marketing choices may have seemed to make us unapproachable. When it comes down to it, our mission stands: to empower students to identify and solve problems in our community. We would like to continue to facilitate positive change on campus, for students and by students. Our new design choices will keep the classic Idea Fund image while informing the public in some new and more direct ways.
Following the brainstorms at Farm Frolics and the Activities Fair, Co-Directors of Project Consulting, Dana Damenova ‘19 and Steven Kirk ‘19 led the Project Consulting team in troubleshooting some ideas that had been put forward. As our vision states, we strive for a connected community of passionate do-ers. The Project Consulting team has already begun to do this, by connecting ideas from the campus community to the Idea Fund community. Some concepts learned at that meeting are that there are several ways to go about addressing any issue and that success can be measured in a multitude of ways, depending on the specific situation.
The Community Outreach team, led by Director Fatema Sachak ‘18, is hard at work planning our 6th Annual Formal Dessert, which will be held on Wednesday, September 21 from 7 pm to 9 pm in Social Hall West. This is a gathering of students, faculty, and staff all dressed to the nines to discuss the progress of the Idea Fund and innovation on campus while enjoying desserts. The Community Outreach team will also plan all of the MMM’s for the year and OCTi, a Dickinson centric TED-Talk-esque evening held in the spring.
This year, we are aiming to increase the interaction between members of different teams to create a more connected community which should increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Idea Fund as a whole. Though we are undergoing some restructuring and rebranding, we keep the Idea Fund mission and vision present in those decisions. We hope to grow to be more accessible, efficient, and effective and hope to work with many students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike to help identify and create positive change at Dickinson.
Any student looking to join any team can contact the director of that team through the website, or the Idea Fund email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for newly designed content. It is never too late to join and there is a place for everyone, regardless of their interests or major.
Elizabeth Haraburda ‘19, Associate Board Member