WMU President Dr. Edward Montgomery and vice president of marketing and strategic communications Tony Proudfoot meet after WMU's Think Big town hall event.

WMU President Edward Montgomery and Tony Proudfoot, vice president of marketing and strategic communications, meet after WMU's Think Big town hall event on Oct. 14, 2019.

WMU’s “Big Idea,” the result of the university’s continued Think Big project, has changed.

The university announced a change in the wording of the “Big Idea” in an email sent to students on Wednesday, Feb. 12 detailing the implementation of the Think Big project.

The idea now reads “College is a place to go; Western is a place to become.”  Previously, the idea was worded as “(WMU is) Where students become masters of their fate and captains of their soul so they can change the world.” 

The email notes that this change is the result of critical feedback and engagement from the university community.Vice President Tony Proudfoot said that the change is the result of feedback saying the phrase “change the world” was over the top.

“The feedback was that ‘change the world’ was too heavy,” Proudfoot said. He added that the new wording is designed to illustrate a  more holistic experience. 

“It is focused on educating the whole person rather than the academic or career part of life,” he said.

In October, when the “Big Idea” was first unveiled, Proudfoot told those in attendance that the “Big Idea” was a new “way of being” for the university rather than a single project or program.

"The promise that we want to make the world is that students who are masters of their fate and captains of their soul will change the world," Proudfoot said.

The email went on to detail ways in which this new “way of being” is being implemented on campus. One of these implementations is the Wellness Workgroup which inventories the ways in which WMU is already contributing to student wellness, according to the email.

Some students have expressed frustration with the ongoing and proposed changes to WMU’s campus and operations. David Hoskins, president of the Residence Housing Association, shared his concerns with the Herald earlier this month.

“A lot of people are now talking to the administrators about the gentrification that’s happening. How they are not really focused on diversity or student’s voices at all. They’re just focusing on the money,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins currently heads a student coalition which he said will help ensure students’ voiced are considered by university administrators. The coalition is currently trying to meet with the Board of Trustees.

Chloe Miller, Lead News Reporter, contributed to this report.

 

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