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Initiative Spotlight

Initiative Spotlight

Big Al’s Ski Lift to the Hill

Everyone who has been on UT’s campus knows just how hilly it is. However, one steep hill – the path leading up to Ayres Hall – is notorious for leaving students out of breath on their way to class. In the early 1980s, SGA president Allen “Big Al” Williamson decided to do something about this problem.  One of his term initiatives was to install a chairlift that stretched from Pedestrian Walkway all the way to Ayres Hall. This project was met with resounding support from the student body but lacked the funding needed for implementation. Ultimately, Big Al never saw a ski lift to the Hill, but he left behind a legacy of facing problems head-on with creativity and humor. A trait that has helped shape what UT’s SGA looks like today.

Open Educational Resources

This year we encouraged professors to use free OERs      (Open Educational Resources) in place of textbooks. So far, we have saved students over $700,000 toward our one million dollar goal. We honored four professors for choosing OERs, and we are looking forward to a larger recognition ceremony in the spring!

When professors choose OERs over textbooks, it shows that they have gone out of the way to ensure their class is affordable and accessible to more students. We can’t wait to reach our 1 million dollar goal, and we can only do that if more professors are willing to make a switch.