In the 2017-18 DSC initiated a Participatory Budget voting process. Three projects received the highest rankings according to the votes cast by the student body, and therefore will receive funds for implementation. These projects include the following:

The English Lounge Renewal project aims to refurbish the English program lounge with new couches, lighting, decor, sound technology, as well as spaces for storage and equipment for transporting furniture to make the space more welcoming and versatile.
The Water Bottle Fountain project aims to fund the installation of a new water fountain that has the option of refilling water bottles with filtered water. 
The Student Column project aims to empower the GC student community by installing interactive artwork in a visible location.

Students involved in submitting proposals to the Participatory Budget initiative were asked to reflect on the process. We were especially interested in understanding how the initiative may be used to continue identifying needs on the campus. Here are some memorable responses provided as follows:

“I think there are a number of student needs that remain unfulfilled at the Graduate Center. Some priorities that I think should be considered for future projects include a bicycle storage room, an onsite gym, and phone charging stations. This process has made me optimistic […] in actually making a different for student life in our school. I suggest for future students who submit projects for participatory budgeting, that they seek to make a difference across disciplines and benefit everyone in the building.”

“I have a sense that the best thing about this [participatory budget initiative] is not the money itself (which helped, and motivated us to get started) but the fact that it opens a conversation with Facilities and Building Design and IT, and allows students to address some long neglected issues.”

If you are interested in the participatory budget initiative or are considering submitting a proposal for a 2018-19 cycle and have questions, please email Pending budget approval, the proposals guidelines will be announced in October 2018.

For more information about the 2017-18 Participatory Budget initiative, please see the archived posts below:

  1. Announcement of Participatory Budget Funding Initiative
  2. Announcement of Town Hall Meeting
  3. Announcement of Online Voting
  4. Announcement of Results from Voting Process