By Amanda Dyslin
---- — ST. PETER — A couple of recent Gustavus Adolphus College graduates made campus a lot more bicycle-friendly thanks to grant funding from Coca-Cola before they left the college this month.
Samantha Good and Katie Barta received a $6,500 grant that went to a number of initiatives, including a new bike repair station that is now adjacent to Lund Center, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center and the Johns Family Courtyard. The station has an air pump and a scannable barcode to allow smartphone users to upload how-to videos.
The grant money also was dedicated to seven new bike racks around campus. And the students' initiatives have led to Gustavus being named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists — only the second school in Minnesota along with the Univeristy of Minnesota.
“... I couldn't be more proud of Samantha and Katie,” said Director of Dining Service Steve Kjellgren. “Their Biking Initiatives project really nailed the intent of the Educational Partnership Grant by addressing both personal and environmental health and well-being.”
The funding became available after Gustavus administrators were negotiating a new contract with major beverage providers. Kjellgren asked potential providers to submit creative proposals, and Coca-Cola included $20,000 in grant money for each year of the contract.
The funding is available for projects initiated by departments, programs, campuswide initiatives or advocacy groups that focus on enhancing sustainability and community health. Student-focused initiatives receive priority.
Good's and Barta's grant was one of nine funded during the 2012-13 school year. Others included purchasing yoga mats, peer health coaching and a new shed for Big Hill Farm.
“All of the projects submitted to the grant committee were thoughtful and creative,” Kjellgren said. “The grant committee, along with representatives from Coca-Cola, were so very pleased to be able to fund nine separate projects in the inaugural grant year, and we look forward to many more years of partnership in education with Coca-Cola.”
A committee made up of Gustavus faculty, students and administrative staff along with representatives from Coca-Cola started accepting applications May 1 and will continue to do so through Nov. 1. Announcement of awardees will begin Nov. 15.