DSG senator Lavanya Sunder, a freshman, presents plans for a new campus-improvement program called Fix My Campus at the group’s first meeting of the Spring.
DSG senator Lavanya Sunder, a freshman, presents plans for a new campus-improvement program called Fix My Campus at the group’s first meeting of the Spring.

Duke students will have a new outlet for voicing concerns and suggesting improvements for campus, said Duke Student Government senator Lavanya Sunder, a freshman.

Sunder introduced final plans for Fix My Campus at the DSG Senate meeting Wednesday night. The new program will allow students to submit suggestions for campus improvement in a variety of areas. The motion passed by unanimous consent.

“The purpose of Fix My Campus is to connect student ideas with people to put them in motion,” Sunder said.

Students who notice issues on campus or have ideas for improvements or possible events will be able to text the service. The newly created Fix My Campus DSG committee—the members of which have not been selected yet—will receive the submissions and respond to the ideas.

Sunder said the committee will use a Facebook page to gauge student interest for the submissions before the committee decides how to proceed with each suggestion.

The committee will include members of Duke University Union and Duke Partnership for Service. Any projects that are not within the domain of DSG will be deferred to other student leadership groups.

“This is a student-led and student-managed organization,” Sunder said. “We are not going to lobby the administration for everything we need. We want to work with student-led action groups.”

She added that the committee will ask the Senate to lobby the administration to act on submissions when necessary.

This is not the first time that DSG has tried to implement Fix My Campus. Last year junior Patrick Oathout, current executive vice president, launched the program website, but there were many “bugs” that prevented the program from operating correctly, Oathout said.

There is also a similar program in place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sunder noted, but she hopes Duke students will use the program to its full potential.

Most of the submissions at UNC are requests for maintenance in student facilities, Sunder said.

“This is Fix My Campus, not ‘fix my sink,” she said.

But if a student submits a maintenance problem or concern, they will receive the contact information of the proper administrative department to contact.

Sunder added that this program will be more successful than its Tar Heel counterpart because it will incorporate two-way “conversations with students” and will involve many different student groups on campus.

“For this idea to really be successful, we need many people on the Facebook page and [many people] submitting ideas and suggestions,” Sunder said. “UNC didn’t do enough to advertise their service, so we need to really get the message out there.”

As an incentive for students to get involved with Fix My Campus, DSG will be offering iPad minis as a random giveaway for members of the Facebook page and those who submit good ideas.

In other business:

Junior Neil Kondamuri, DSG vice president for social culture, said he is actively working on bringing bookbag Sundays to campus.

Bookbag Sundays would provide students with a casual environment to talk with professors and other students while planning their schedule for the next semester.

“There is still a lot of work to do with that,” Kondamuri said.

Sophomore Nikolai Doytchinov, vice president for academic affairs, said he is working with administrators to build an environment of “research team learning.”

He added that last semester’s reading period was too short, noting that and he aims to work with the administration to lengthen the period for future semesters.