The challenge is simple: What would you do with $5000 to improve the lives of Rochester students?

Now, it’s voting time. Pick your five favorite proposals, and we’ll make the winning idea into a reality.

Winners will be recognized at the State of the SA, to be held on April 23rd.

Read about proposals below, & vote on the CCC

Voting is now closed!

What we've done

We’re working on eight submissions already.


  • Condiment & Hot Chocolate Station in Danforth
  • Newer Laptops at IT Center
  • Video Recording of Lectures
  • Printing in Dorms
  • Replacing Door Hydraulics in Tunnels
  • Refurbishment of ResLife Kitchenettes
  • Accessible Public Maps of Campus
  • Waterproofing the Strong Practice Rooms

We narrowed it down from 76.


We picked the twenty-six most feasible proposals submitted by the student body, and eliminated the rest. Now you can hone in on your TOP 5.


There are twenty-six proposals to choose from! (click each section to expand)

1-5: Free Gym Lockers, Calculator Rentals, Library Lockers, Smoothie Bar, Midnight Waffle Bar

1. New, Free Lockers in Gym – Shira Marks
The gym currently has small lockers outside of the locker rooms for people who don’t have a locker, but there are no locks. Replacing these with lockers that have built-in locks would make things easier for students who want to work out, but need a place to keep their belongings.

2. Calculator Rentals in the Libraries – Shiv Patel
The money from the 5K Challenge should be used to invest in a stock of TI-84 calculators to be rented out from Rush Rhees and Carlson libraries. For students who don’t have a calculator, or forgot their calculator in their room, this could be a useful way for students to do their work without having to deal with a set back.

3. Lockers in the Libraries – Naoufai Zouak, Yeyue Chen
As of now, it is inconvenient for students to leave the library to take a quick break from studying – without a way to make sure their valuables are safe, we are forced to keep our things with us. The $5000 should be used to put lockers in highly trafficked libraries to allow students to safely leave their belongings in the library while taking a break from studying.

4. Smoothie Bar – Alap Patel, Joan Marshall, Sheel Clerk
Money from the 5K Challenge should be used to start up a smoothie bar, which would include fruits, vegetables, protein, and other dietary supplements for students coming from a workout, or just looking to eat healthier. Having a smoothie bar provides students with a healthy alternative to campus dining food, and gives motivation for students to eat healthy after their workouts. The smoothie bar would also be a place to get healthy snacks, like granola bars, protein bars, etc.

5. Midnight Waffle Bar on Weekends – Ethan Bidna
With $5000, we should create a Midnight Weekend Waffle Bar. This would offer students with an option to eat freshly made waffles from 12-3am on the weekends. Late night dining on the weekends is usually difficult, with the pit closing at 12am and the possibility of Hillside not having what students are looking for. This leaves students to order take-out food, pay delivery prices, and wait for long periods of time for their food. Having a waffle bar on the weekend would provide students with a satisfying alternative for late night eating.

6-10: Performance Stage, Cell Phone Repairs, Sexual Attitude Diagnostic, Jukebox in Wilco, Bucket List Wall

6. Small Stage for Performances – Brian Shin
Despite the great talent and diverse musical interests of the student body, there is currently a lack of space for performances on campus. When performance groups are not using Strong Auditorium, they are forced to perform in inconvenient spaces that are not specifically designated/designed for performances. Non SA-funded performance groups are typically only able to perform in Starbucks. The stage will inspire creativity by serving as an outlet for artistic expression for all students who appreciate music/dance, which would lead to a more vibrant campus community.

7. Rapid Cell Phone Repair Service – James Nathan
The 5K Challenge should fund the creation of an on-campus rapid mobile phone repair service. The service will focus on repairing smartphones of students, faculty, and staff in a timely manner at competitive charges. It will also offer free loaner phones during the repair window for customers with an eligible network. The service could also expand into basic laptop and tablet servicing, such as screen repair and hard drive replacement.

8. Diagnostic of Sexual Attitudes at UR – Matias Piva
We should hire an expert to take a detailed and multifaceted look into the sexual attitudes and practices of the students on the River Campus, how those attitudes and practices positively and negatively affect the student body, and how the University can help shape the campus’ sexual culture into one that better embodies the Communal Principles (Respect,Responsibility, Honesty, Inclusion, Freedom, and Fairness). We would use a Campus Sexual Culture Evaluation, which is a tailor made evaluation of the sexual culture at an institution.

9. Jukebox in Wilson Commons – Teresa Lam
Our student body embodies such rich and diverse musical talent…but many of our students don’t really get the opportunity to experience it unless they go to paid shows or happen to be around when musical groups give mini performances in the dining halls. We should have a giant sized, digital jukebox in Wilson Commons/ Hirst Lounge.The jukebox can look vintage, but will be internet-based and digital in order to play a limitless number of songs. Musical groups and clubs on campus can have their songs, covers, and album “sneak peaks” on the jukebox; hosts and DJs from the Sting can have their own playlists; clubs such as NJR and students with their own “garage” bands can get their names out and show their peers what they really can do.

10. Bucket List Chalk Wall – Kara Michelle D. Rubio
We should create a “Before I Die, I want to…” wall on which students, faculty, staff and alumni can write their bucketlist items or really anything they wish. The wall will be made such that participants can write on it with chalk. Every month, we will wipe down the wall to make room for more answers.

11-15: Environmental Speaker, Live Trivia, Breakfast Bar, Panini Grill, New Robotics Equipment

11. Environmentalist Speaker for Earth Day – Brittany Flitner
Every April, UR students, faculty, and staff celebrate Earth Day. Events held in celebration of this day attract a group of students who are passionate and committed to the cause. In order to get more people involved, we should invite an environmentalist speaker to campus to share his/her ideas/perspectives on environmental preservation. Examples of speakers include Ted Danson, Julia Hill, James Hansen, Roger Payne.

12. Live Trivia Show – Daniel Siever
Ever wondered what it would be like to challenge your professors in a game show? Let’s have a live trivia game show! Anyone at the UR can participate – undergrads, faculty, staff, and even grad students.

13. Breakfast Bar in Wilson Commons – Jamie Yim
All-declining users – ever wanted more options for breakfast in the pit? How about a new breakfast bar with more healthy options like oatmeal, fruits, granola, yogurt, and more! These additional options will be placed on the counter where bagels are now.

14. Panini Grill – Melissa Glasner
Seniors at the UR will tell you that the panini grill was one of their favorite parts of their dining experience here. We should use the $5000 to bring it back! Considering how popular the panini grill was in the past, this would be a great addition to the dining experience at UR.

15. New Robotics Equipment for Students – Christina Kayastha
The goal of the project is to create an open space for student run interdisciplinary research. UR Robotics club has a lab used by students from different majors and class years who collaborate on projects and do individual research. However, with growing interest in such a collaborative area, we do not have enough equipment in order to support a large group of people. The project idea is to buy equipment for the robotics lab and open up the lab to the student body.The lab equipment would be free to use for anyone that wants to work on their research interests, and would be maintained by the UR Robotics club tech staff. Specifically we would like to buy equipment for circuit design, and casting and molding.

16-20: Online Forum, TurboVote, Online Facilities Updates, Online Student Networking, Campus Murals

16. Online Student Forum – Roy Eldar
We should use the $5000 to create a university student forum for discussion threads, and would give students an effective and centralized way to communicate. Right now, Facebook Class Pages are used most often for discussions, questions, etc. Having a centralized student forum would make this communication easier and more inclusive.

17. TurboVote, a Voting Reminder Service – Ben Stillson
Have you ever forgotten to apply for your absentee ballot on time? Can’t find the form to register to vote in your state? Have you ever forgotten to vote in that weird special election in the middle of the year? Well Turbovote is here to help! Turbovote is a company that helps busy people vote. You sign up, and they’ll keep track of all the rules and deadlines and even send you all the forms you need for voting, so all you have to do is sign them and drop them in the mail. Turbovote will also create a co-branded website to help University of Rochester students sign up, and will send e-mail or text reminders to each user when deadlines or election days approach!

18. Online Status/Update Service for Campus Facilities – Hayden Freedman
The 5K Challenge should fund the creation of a free, interactive website which would provide UR students with quick and easy status updates on various facilities on campus. A student logging on could easily check if there are laundry machines/dryers available in their building, the menu/quality of food being served at Danforth or Douglass, any campus events going on at the time or in the near future, which bathrooms/vending machines/other facilities are out of service, and any other useful information that would be helpful for students to learn. The interface should include a map of campus with notifications appearing from the area that the report stems from.

19. Online Student Networking Community – Jeffry Asunmonu
We should create an online community/platform (hopefully linked to blackboard) where students can register their interests and be linked to fellow students or student mentors who have similar interests. This platform will provide students with an opportunity to further their knowledge in their various interests by having access to the successes and ‘failures’ of those with similar interests. It will also provide students with an opportunity to explore their interests by lending their expertise to other students’ projects and receiving support for their own.

20. Murals Around Campus – Daniel Hargrove
The 5K Challenge should fund student and/or local artists to create murals around campus. Creative expression would hopefully boost student moods and brighten up different areas of our campus.

20-26: Douglass Mural, Wilmot Heating, Expanded Microfarm, Seating in Gleason, Rental Kitchenware, More Free Bikes

21. Mural on Douglass – Luke Metzler
We should create a mural on the brick walls outside of Douglass to revamp the area around Douglass and The Meliora. This would be a vibrant and beautiful landmark that would also improve student awareness of food services inside the Mel.

22. Heating System at the Wilmot Bus Stop – Robert Rietmeijer
We should fund implementation of a heating system for the Wilmot bus stop. The cold long wait behind Goergen is known by most Science majors, especially late at night after a long project or study session. Adding a heating system would certainly make the late night wait considerably more comfortable for this entire Southern section of the campus.

23. Expand the Whipple Park Microfarm – Pablo Arroyo
On many college campuses, processed foods in dining halls and other food centers are the norm for food choices. Expanding the UR microfarm, located in Whipple Park, will allow us to increase the amount of produce we can introduce in our meals.

24. More Seating in Gleason and ITS – Erik Laurin
During peak study hours, ITS and Gleason are often packed. We should add more tables and chairs to these study spaces to allow more students to study there.

25. Rent Culinary Equipment in Residence Halls – Jessica Sheng, Emily Kwan
With $5000, we should buy cooking/prep supplies to be rented out from the Common Connection and Residential Hall Area Offices. Students would be held accountable for the equipment they rent out, and would have to return it at a given time. Allowing students to rent out this equipment opens up the opportunity for students to cook more on campus, allowing for alternative dining options of their choice.

26. Improve the City Cycles Program – Aaron Bigeleisen
The 5K Challenge should fund improvements to the City Cycles Program. It could either be used to purchase new bikes, add more bike locations, or to add another bike repair site. While this program have proven to be useful for UR students, improvement and possible expansion of the program will prove to be useful for our student body in providing an alternative form of transportation that is more widespread.

Voting is now closed.

Here’s how it works:

1. Submit Your Proposal

Tell us about an improvement you’d like to see on campus, and make sure it fits within the submission guidelines. October 9th – November 1st.

2. Vote For Your Favorite

All proposals that meet the criteria for a feasible project will be voted on by the student body. December 3nd – December 6th.

3. We Make It Happen

We will implement the winning project during the Spring Semester. December 7th.


Here’s how you submit your idea from Oct 9th – Nov 1st

Important Dates

More information about your proposal


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the $5K CHALLENGE.

Crafting your proposal

We want to hear your ideas; how we can better the campus community one project at a time.

When submitting your proposal, please remember to keep feasibility into account. Remember, this is a 5K challenge. Here are some ways that the $5000 can be used:

  • One-and-Done
  • Think of something that costs up to $5000 and we’ll buy it. Ex: hanging a $5000 disco ball in Wilson Commons.
  • Start Something New
  • Use $5000 to start an annual service. Ex: an annual disco party in Wilson Commons. Disclaimer: We’ll reevaluate the service each and every year, so make sure the idea is sustainable!

Editing your proposal

These are some things to keep in mind while writing your submission. Submissions that fail to address the following criteria will be disqualified from the competition.

  • Does it benefit the whole campus community?
  • Does it improve the student experience?
  • Does it fit a need on campus?
  • Is it feasible within the given budget?
  • Is it inclusive? (Can a lot of students use it?)

Voting for the winner

Voting will take place from Dec 2nd to Dec 6th, and the winning proposal will be announced on December 7th. If you submit the winning proposal, you will be recognized at the State of the SA event as a recipient of the SA Campus Initiative of the Year Award. Please refer to for voting information in the coming weeks.