Currently, as is the case every fall, undergraduates have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on Georgetown through the Re-Imagining Georgetown (RIG) Partnership, which awards up to $10,000 in grants to those with a vision for improving student life on the Hilltop. A collaborative effort among The Corp, GUASFCU and THE HOYA, RIG has given rise to such popular campus traditions as the annual Run For Rigby and 25 Days of Service.
The three organizations, each active in the Georgetown community for over 20 years, contribute their respective publicity, financial and planning skills as well as $5,000 each in annual contributions to ensure that students have the money and support necessary to implement their proposals. A rotating chairmanship gives members of each group the opportunity to head the initiative every third year and bring their unique expertise to the table.
“We’re all a part of the Georgetown community and we all have ideas to make it better. As responsible members of the community, we want to make sure these ideas have the financial backing to make them realities,” said GUASFCU CEO and current RIG chair Arjun Mehta (SFS ’11).
The competition for RIG grants typically draws about 20 applicants each year, a field that is eventually narrowed down to anywhere from one to four finalists who are announced in mid-November. Past winning projects have included Address Unknown, a fine arts initiative celebrating the D.C.’s homeless population by facilitating storytelling through theater, song and spoken word poetry. Even closer to home, The Saxa Service Feast brought students and faculty together to raise money and awareness for various campus groups and nonprofits.
2009 grant recipient Joel Ziebell (COL `10) used his appropriated funding to finance Jack Wings 2010, a wing-eating contest whose proceeds went to charity. According to Ziebell, “Applying for and receiving a Re-Imagine Georgetown grant is a pin-point example of why Georgetown is unique. The fact that student organizations fund the grant and thus enable the student body to create and carry out their own project highlights the close-knit community, family that Georgetown is.”
Daniel Alexander (MSB ’11) proposed and received approval for his project to advance the alternative music scene on campus during the 2009-2010 round of grant applications. A year later, he is preparing to host the first show of the Georgetown Alternative Music Series, to be held Nov. 12 in Leavey’s Bulldog Alley. The grant money he received will be covering the costs of the equipment, artists and space necessary to provide Georgetown students exposure to great live music.
“The Re-Imagine Georgetown Initiative truly captures the entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit that makes Georgetown an amazing community. The three entirely student-run organizations that provide the grants have proven their ability to both provide students with a needed service and give back to the community,” Alexander said.
ehta explained the application process. “Basically, all applicants have to be undergrads, and the idea that they’re pitching needs to re-envision Georgetown. Applicants need a concrete idea, not something nebulous, which involves a plan, contacts, and previous research.”
This year’s applications are due by Nov. 12 and all students are encouraged to contact RIG via email at reimaginegeorgetowngmail.com.