By Kayla Pickrell
Simple ideas on how to improve campus can now be brought to life through a new UK Student Government program: Legacy.
“Legacy is an outlet for students to advocate change at the university,” said Kyle Snapp, the director of Legacy. “What we realized at Student Government is it is our responsibility to represent all student interest.”
“We wanted to create an accessible platform for students to voice their ideas for campus change.”
SG started the program this year and it is open to not only students, but faculty and administrators as well. A similar program at the University of Alabama inspired SG.
“We started receiving ideas last year, but we didn’t initiate the program until this year,” Snapp said.
The first step to voice ideas is to access the Legacy website at uksga.org/legacy and submit a Google document.
SG will then contact the student and meet with the team. Legacy provides a way of funding, resourcing and credibility to students who want to make a change, said UK Student Government President Stephen Bilas.
The team consists of Snapp, Christine Mattingly and Nick Dillman.
“It’s very difficult even for a large organization to represent 29,000 and we couldn’t do it alone,” Bilas said.
The team will direct students to how they can make their ideas come to life.
“It always seemed kind of daunting in the past for students to have the idea and not be sure where to start,” Snapp said.
“We want to help students get resources to make change and facilitate conversation with administrators that they may not have access to otherwise.”
Snapp said there is no limit to how many students they are willing to help out.
“Essentially my big thing on it is that it empowers the students to take action,” Bilas said. “A lot of the times a lot of the best ideas go unheard because the student doesn’t know the outlet in which to voice that opinion.”
Bilas said the ideas could lead to safety initiatives. For example, a student could be walking home from a night class and realize one stretch of road was very dark and seemed almost unsafe. If he or she comes to SG to talk about the issue, the student could help organize the initiative to place a light on that street, Bilas said.
“That’s what the program is here for,” Bilas said. “We want to provide an opportunity for students to come to us and say ‘I have an idea. Is it plausible? Is it feasible?’ ”
Bilas said in recent years many students have stopped by the SG office with ideas to improve campus, but until the Legacy program was made, many students’ voices went unheard.
After a tangible form of the project from the student is completed, a medallion will be placed on the project and the student will be given a matching medallion.
“They can come back years from now and say, ‘This was my legacy on campus,’ ” Snapp said.
Some of the ideas may extend beyond campus, and for that Legacy is in contact with Big Blue Starter, an entrepreneurship program led by Wes Brooks, who may then take the project from there with the student.
“We want students to leave their own legacy at UK,” Snapp said.