Student Government aims for the record books
Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Updated: Sunday, March 6, 2011 22:03
Student Government's Freshman Leadership Council set its eyes on the prize Thursday night, when a resolution proposing to attempt to set a Guinness World Record was unanimously approved.
Now all FLC needs are signatures from 7,500 students on an oversized 4 feet by 8 feet greeting card to bring the prize home. Currently, no record is set for most signatures on a card.
"We believe we have a very good chance of making it into the book," said Freshman Class Senator Benjamin Kaipust, who sponsored the resolution with high hopes.
"FLC is very excited about SR-10/11-30," he said. "This is FLC's first year at UNO and our plan is to create a new tradition that establishes a sense of community."
The idea to get UNO into the pages of the Guinness book coincides with Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Thomas Wallace's plan to begin freshmen convocation in the fall semester. The record-holding card will then be presented to the new class of freshmen.
"We all remember those first couple of days on campus," Kaipust said. "I think this gesture will help them ease into the transition and see they're welcome at UNO."
The Student Senate allocated $1200 to fund the project. Supply costs for markers, paint and other items were estimated at $200, while $500 was set aside for the card itself and another $500 was allocated for fast tracking the project with Guinness World Records. Although it would have been free to bypass fast tracking the project, it would have taken months to get a Guinness representative to the campus — FLC doesn't have months.
The project needed to be started "right now" in order to make the record in time to present the card to the incoming class of freshmen, Kaipust said. FLC has already registered with Guinness and is waiting for a response.
FLC is counting on an energetic student response to a project it believes is capable of coalescing the disparate strands of UNO's student body.
"I hope that the students will respond positively to the resolution," Kaipust said. "You always hear UNO is a commuter school and they are trying to change it. I believe this is a perfect way to begin that change."
Students will only be allowed to sign the card once, as ID numbers will be checked before every signature.
Kaipust and his fellow FLC members think student's love of UNO will convince them to not only sign the card, but also to establish a new tradition on campus.
"Students should want to sign the card out of school pride," Kaipust said. "This is a tradition that will bring all of the current students at UNO together to welcome the new incoming freshman class and let them know they are welcome at UNO. I hope it continues with the FLCs in the future."