Possible Story Pitches for Class on 9/15

Pitch #1: Underused club resources at Brandeis.

Unknown to most Brandeis students, the University has two funds that students can use for club or independent projects. The Community Enhancement and Emergency Fund, or CEEF, can hold up to a quarter of a million dollars, and is currently full (and has been full for a year). The Brandeis Sustainability Fund, or BSF, has been collecting $7.50 per student per semester since Fall 2011, and rarely receives more than one project proposal per semester. In fact, almost all proposals coming from one class whose assignment is to make such proposals. Both funds have remarkably little oversight. I would like to investigate why students do not use these funds, and how the student representatives to these committees–Emma Russel for CEEF, Cassie Cain for BSF–promote and/or distribute funding.

Pitch #2: Town-gown relations, specifically between Waltham police and unofficial Brandeis greek life.

Students in Greek life often complain (and probably have always complained) about fraternity and sorority events being shut down early by police due to what these organizations see as undue security concerns. Frome one perspective, Brandeis’ suburban campus offers few places for students to congregate except for these houses. On the other hand, the greater Waltham community has a right to peace and quiet. At the same time, Waltham is deeply dependent on Brandeis, and thus on Brandeis’ students, for industry. I would like to interview members of the Waltham Police, as well as fraternity/sorority presents and Greek Awareness Council members, to investigate the diverse perspectives on this issue, and on the connection or dependency between Brandeis/Waltham. This story could interest members of Greek life at other suburban universities, police forces in other student-focused cities, the Brandeis administration and other Brandeis students.

3 thoughts on “Possible Story Pitches for Class on 9/15”

  1. Hi Brooke, both of these topics seem fruitful, but right now, as pitches, they are very broad. Who specifically will you interview, and what will you ask them? Please choose a subject for each story and write some questions in who, what, when, where, why, and how format. These sorts of questions will help you stay focused during your interview.

    You may want to table the Greek life story for your video project, since it sounds more ambitious than your first idea. Your first idea could consist of an interview with one of the two student representatives you mention–but if so I’d like to hear more about the questions you plan to ask them. What kind of projects proposals do they receive? How many per semester? From whom? You do have two good questions already: How are decisions about the funding distribution made, and how are these opportunities made know to the student body to begin with?

    1. Something else I just thought of: How did the student representatives come to be involved with these committees? And can they talk about some proposals that have received funding during their tenure on the committees?

      Alternatively, you could interview one of the the students who successfully got their proposal funded.

  2. Hey Brooke,
    Both of your ideas have a lot of material and would be informative for Brandeis students. As far as your first idea, how would you focus on an individual to make it more of a human interest story?
    I have the same question about your second idea. How can you tell your story through one person’s personal experience?
    You definitely picked stories that are relevant, important, and interesting.
    Let me know if you have any questions.

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