Contest Winners Reimagine the Hilltop

Two pairs of Georgetown students will be given the chance to enhance life on the Hilltop this year, winning $3,000 each for the concepts they proposed to Reimagine Georgetown.

The Reimagine Georgetown grants, which range from $500 to $10,000, are awarded annually to students, faculty and staff members who present ideas that the committee believes would best enrich the experience of students at Georgetown.

This year two groups received grants: Kitt Wolfenden (SFS ’12) and Sammy Magnuson (COL ’12) won for Breaking the Bubble, a group that will organize trips to off-campus events. Bre Donald (NHS ’12) and Melissa Gadsden (NHS ’12), the other two winners, hope to establish a farmers market on campus with their proposal.

Wolfenden, a contributor to THE GUIDE, and Magnuson came up with the idea for their proposal on their way back from the H Street Festival this fall. According to Wolfenden, the idea fell into place soon afterward.

“It just clicked,” she said in an email. “We’ve always been passionate about exploring the city and of course, we want to make Georgetown a better place, so forming this club just seemed like a natural way for us to contribute. One of the biggest drawbacks I see at our school is the `bubble’ that most students fall victim to and hear about.”

Student coordinators will lead trips into the city, focusing on hotspots like independent record stores or restaurant tastings based on specific interests once a week. Each group will have up to 15 students, and club membership will not be required in order for students to attend. According to Wolfenden, the group gives students the opportunity to meet others with similar interests.

“Getting an education is about more than learning in a classroom, and the world outside our front gates is delicious, exciting and fun,” Wolfenden said.

Breaking the Bubble hopes to be up and running by next fall, and interested students should look for them at September’s Student Activities Commission fair.

“Getting off campus is about much more than just a fun time. It’s about engaging with our surroundings, broadening our educations, understanding the real world and getting the most we can out of our time in the District,” Wolfenden said.

Reimagine Georgetown’s other winner, The Georgetown University Farmers Market, conceived by Donald and Gadsden, aims to bring a farmers market to Healy Circle.

“Some of our main goals in this initiative [are] to improve access to healthy food on campus, improve nutritional status of Georgetown students and faculty and foster a stronger relationship with the surrounding community,” Donald said in an email.

The group hopes to bring around 10 vendors to the Hilltop, as well as hold cooking demonstrations by O’Donovan Hall chefs. The market would be open once a week, for six to seven weeks in the fall and six to seven weeks in the spring.

“Ultimately, we hope that the market becomes an integral part of Georgetown’s culture and lasts long after Melissa and I graduate,” Donald said. “The grant is particularly important for funding some of the key marketing and other labor/material costs necessary to kick off the market. Eventually, we hope to transition to making this a sustainable market.”

She and Gadsen hope to hold a test market this spring but are planning on officially kicking off the project in the fall.

Reimagine Georgetown is a student partnership co-sponsored by THE HOYA, The Corp and Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union.

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