BGSU one of two sites for student activity funding program

Student organizations at BGSU are beginning to benefit from a pilot program in which BGSU is one of two participants nationwide.

Pearson, an international media company whose operations include Pearson Education, has established the Pearson Student Activity Fund and named BGSU and the University of Colorado-Boulder as the pilot sites.

Pearson is donating up to $2,500 to each university for allocation to student organizations “that can demonstrate how the money will be used to make a difference in the lives of students,” according to the company. “Bowling Green was selected because of its commitment to excellence and engagement, and its desire to enable students to make a difference.”

Also helping BGSU’s cause was the involvement of student Dan Stypa, a senior from Newton Falls, in the formation of the new fund. Stypa, an interpersonal communication major, is a member of the Pearson Student Advisory Board, which the company created last year to bring its leadership together with college students for dialogue about higher education.

“Pearson is trying to form stronger relationships with students,” said Stypa, one of 12 students from across the country serving one-year terms on the advisory board. His connection with the company began when he met a Pearson executive at a student leadership conference in Jacksonville, Fla., last spring.

In the new program, Pearson has given $2,500 to BGSU’s Office of Campus Activities. Student organizations apply to the company for funding, and a review board of Pearson representatives determines which groups receive how much.

Stypa, whose advisory board term expires in June, is a liaison between the company and the University, verifying that applicants are viable student organizations and providing feedback on their submissions. To fund events, Pearson requires that they be open to the general student population. Events with broader impact are more likely to be funded.

Stypa noted that the allocations are being spread over four months—up to $625 per month—to give more student groups an opportunity to benefit. Among the BGSU recipients so far have been the Student Alumni Connection, for the Beyond BG program for seniors; Dance Marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network, and Graduate Students for the Interdisciplinary Study of Neural and Cognitive Sciences, for Brain Awareness Day on campus.

Clint Stephens, coordinator of student organization and community service programs in the Office of Campus Activities, said he hopes to further develop BGSU’s relationship with the company during the pilot program.

March 17, 2008