Students are more likely to stay at a university if they connect with peers, instructors, staff, and the local community. Fun, interactive, engaging, and memorable activities can be an essential part of building and maintaining these key connections.
WMU could declare an official ‘chalk the walk’ day — as a community building/enhancing event. We could provide students with bright colored buckets of chalk at major sidewalk intersections. Attach balloons sporting WMU school colors and a short intro page providing suggestions for what to draw: “sketch a cool picture, write the name of your home town, or to write the name of your major”. The result of the activity would be students creating something collaboratively, sharing ideas and preferences — making connections with each other and feeling connected with fellow students.
According to the nice folks at the WMU Physical Plant, we have approximately 39 miles of side walks on campus with an estimated surface area of roughly 28 acres (1,235,520 sq ft.). There is also over 23 “lane miles” of streets on campus (lane mile = 12′ X 5280′).
What this means is we have a really huge blank canvas available to us.
How much would this cost?
If we were to purchase the required materials from Amazon.com:
- a bucket of 24 sticks of sidewalk chalk can be purchased for $5.95.
- A tank of helium can be purchased for $29.99.
- An 11″ brown balloon, 11″ black balloon, and an 11″ yellow balloon can be purchased for $0.19 each.
- 500 yards of yellow curling ribbon can be purchased for $2.79.
- 50 sheets of construction paper for $2.79.
- 4 pack of assorted sharpie markers $9.78.
- 4 pack of black sharpie markers $6.79.
If we setup roughly 25 chalking locations, the total cost of the project would be: $215.14 + setup time. Otherwise said, this is an inexpensive way to build community and encourage student interaction.