Sustainability Grant Fund accepting proposals

As the first grant’s project develops, TRU calls for more proposals to do it all again

Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor Ω

Marjorie Budnikas stands in the file storage room in TRU Open Learning. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

Marjorie Budnikas stands in the file storage room in TRU Open Learning. Karla Karcioglu/The Omega

TRU is preparing to accept a second round of project proposals for the Sustainability Grant Fund, which launched in the fall semester of 2013.

The first successful applicant was a joint effort between the on-campus registrar’s office and TRU Open Learning Registrarial Services. It was the only proposal which met the extensive list of requirements for grant money.

The five main criteria for the proposals are articulation of benefits, performance measurement, level of impact, project feasibility and planning.

The proposal was for industrial scanners so that student documentation to could be digitally archived to save space on storage, save paper in the future and make access more efficient.

Angelique Saweczko was hired as the associate VP in charge of strategic enrollment and university registrar in July 2013. Saweczko said as soon as she arrived and saw the situation she immediately wanted to tackle the TRU file keeping system.

Saweczko said that digitizing documents is the norm at other universities.

Student records are currently paper-based, according to Saweczko. She said this can cause inefficiencies, as documents can easily get lost in transit between different departments. Digital archives will provide an opportunity to track when a document was received, filed, moved and when it has expired and needs to be removed from the system due to privacy laws.

Saweczko said that during the admissions period between October to August, the on-campus registrar’s office uses approximately 40,000 to 50,000 pieces of paper. Throughout a student’s time at TRU, more paper documents will continuously be added to their files, with individual student files averaging 10 to 12 pieces of paper.

TRU Open Learning Registrarial Services has completed some initial testing to see how the scanning system would work and how it would be implemented.

There are also plans to involve co-op students and provide them with work experience on going paperless. Student involvement was one thing that was important for Saweczko, and also to Marjorie Budnikas, manager of admissions and advising, TRU-OL.

Budnikas said the departments are very grateful for the sustainability grant and the opportunity it has provided. She encourages others to make the effort to apply.

The next submission for pre-proposals will be due Feb. 28 and the deadline for final proposals will be March 31.

The funding for the grant comes from last year’s increase in parking fees, which environmental programs director James Gordon said also successfully brought down the number of single occupancy vehicles on campus and made parking “less of a hassle.”