Hatching New Ideas Should be for Everyone

Written by Evan Myers, News Editor

Last issue, I wrote a news article titled “Calhoun’s Vision for Campus Innovation.” AJ Calhoun attended Furman between 2011 and 2015. Early on during his time at the University, Calhoun noticed that there was no organization on campus “to foster creativity and provide a space for students to do their own thing.” Essentially, Calhoun was seeking a platform for creativity that would provide support, community, and funding to Furman students who wanted to bring their ideas to life. 

Today, nearly ten years after Calhoun first observed that Furman lacks a student organization that truly encourages innovation, the University has certainly evolved. However, Calhoun’s complaint remains relevant. Some organizations, Furman University Student Activities Board (FUSAB) and Calhoun’s own brainchild, Furman Creative Collaborative (FCC), can claim to provide an outlet for creativity, but both organizations fall far short of what Calhoun was envisioning. More importantly, they fall short of what Furman needs. 

FUSAB claims to be “hatching new ideas,” and although it certainly provides some portions of the student body with entertainment, its organizational model does not provide a platform for all students to be innovative, but rather empowers its hand selected members to plan creative events for the rest of us. This is not to say that FUSAB should change. To the contrary, it fulfills an important role on campus as Furman’s primary event planning committee. That said, we should not lose sight of the fact that FUSAB does not provide a platform for creativity to all students and hatching new ideas should not be limited to the members of Furman’s most selective organization. Innovation is for all of us and everyone is capable of having a good idea.

FCC, on the other hand, once promised to provide students with a platform for creativity. Over the years, however, FCC has become bogged down in other important work, including organizing and hosting TEDx and Furman’s Innovation Hour. Although these are certainly worthwhile events, they do not provide students with sustained support to pursue their creative interests. 

In sum, FUSAB and FCC do important work, but they do not take advantage of all Furman students’ ideas. FUSAB’s resources, for example, are largely reserved for their members. FCC’s limited resources are stretched thin as they host major events. Thus, there is a need for a new student organization to fill the same creative void that Calhoun identified during his time at Furman. 

Furman students deserve the opportunity to study away, conduct undergraduate research, and work internships during their four years at the University. That is the “advantage” Furman provides to students. That said, students also deserve the chance to innovate, build, and change the campus around them. That is the advantage that students provide Furman. Without an organization that provides students with a platform to make their ideas into reality, Furman is not only doing its students a disservice, but also itself. In order to improve as a university it is imperative that we take advantage of our most valuable resource: our students. 

Last issue, I wrote a news article titled “Calhoun’s Vision for Campus Innovation.” AJ Calhoun attended Furman between 2011 and 2015. Early on during his time at the University, Calhoun noticed that there was no organization on campus “to foster creativity and provide a space for students to do their own thing.” Essentially, Calhoun was seeking a platform for creativity that would provide support, community, and funding to Furman students who wanted to bring their ideas to life. 

Today, nearly ten years after Calhoun first observed that Furman lacks a student organization that truly encourages innovation, the University has certainly evolved. However, Calhoun’s complaint remains relevant. Some organizations, Furman University Student Activities Board (FUSAB) and Calhoun’s own brainchild, Furman Creative Collaborative (FCC), can claim to provide an outlet for creativity, but both organizations fall far short of what Calhoun was envisioning. More importantly, they fall short of what Furman needs. 

FUSAB claims to be “hatching new ideas,” and although it certainly provides some portions of the student body with entertainment, its organizational model does not provide a platform for all students to be innovative, but rather empowers its hand selected members to plan creative events for the rest of us. This is not to say that FUSAB should change. To the contrary, it fulfills an important role on campus as Furman’s primary event planning committee. That said, we should not lose sight of the fact that FUSAB does not provide a platform for creativity to all students and hatching new ideas should not be limited to the members of Furman’s most selective organization. Innovation is for all of us and everyone is capable of having a good idea.

FCC, on the other hand, once promised to provide students with a platform for creativity. Over the years, however, FCC has become bogged down in other important work, including organizing and hosting TEDx and Furman’s Innovation Hour. Although these are certainly worthwhile events, they do not provide students with sustained support to pursue their creative interests. 

In sum, FUSAB and FCC do important work, but they do not take advantage of all Furman students’ ideas. FUSAB’s resources, for example, are largely reserved for their members. FCC’s limited resources are stretched thin as they host major events. Thus, there is a need for a new student organization to fill the same creative void that Calhoun identified during his time at Furman. 

Furman students deserve the opportunity to study away, conduct undergraduate research, and work internships during their four years at the University. That is the “advantage” Furman provides to students. That said, students also deserve the chance to innovate, build, and change the campus around them. That is the advantage that students provide Furman. Without an organization that provides students with a platform to make their ideas into reality, Furman is not only doing its students a disservice, but also itself. In order to improve as a university it is imperative that we take advantage of our most valuable resource: our students. 

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