The $5K Challenge!

“What would you do with $5000 to improve the lives of Rochester students?”

Something new in the fall of 2013 was the 5K Challenge that the University of Rochester Students’ Association organized. Basically, the student government, which we refer to as the Students’ Association or SA, fronted $5,000 and asked students, “What would you do with $5000 to improve the lives of Rochester students?”

For some time initially, students would submit various ideas for what they wanted to see on campus. Some students wanted to see more computers on campus, while others wanted more lockers in the gym. Some wanted panini grills, while others wanted a midnight waffle bar. My idea was to have a smoothie bar on campus, and guess what? The idea won! Following idea submissions, the entire student body was able to vote for their favorite ideas on campus.

I came up with the smoothie bar idea because being from Southern California, smoothie joints like Jamba Juice and Juice It Up are extremely popular, and cold drinks are not too common in Rochester.… But, we cannot forget that smoothies have the potential to be extremely healthy! They are a great, tasty way to get many fruits and even vegetables into one’s diet.

The 5K Challenge represents the campus administration’s responsiveness to the student population. They really want to hear what the students want, and then take these ideas and turn them into realities. This semester, spring 2014, I will be able to work with campus food administration to further design where the smoothie bar will be, and the types of smoothies that will be offered. I am super excited for this new innovation to be added to campus.

About the author

Alap Patel

I'm a member of the Class of 2015 and I'm from California. I'm pre-med with a major in health, behavior, and society and a minor in legal studies. I was also accepted into the Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) program. I am on the UR Bhangra Team and in Delta Upsilon fraternity.

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  • I think having a side entrance to the gym available would make so many students on the freshman quad and fraternities lives better on their way to the gym in the snow!

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