Thanks to the idea and efforts of senior biological science major Michelle Iqbal, Wayne State is set to become a sparkling winter wonderland for the holiday season.
Together with the Warrior Funder crowd funding program and the Office of Economic Development, Iqbal has been spearheading a project to raise money for thousands of LED lights that will be installed on campus from December through January.
Iqbal says the point of the lights is to create something beautiful, while also increasing campus safety.
“I started thinking about getting creative with lighting around this time last year,” Iqbal said. “I was living off campus at the time and would walk home late at night and walk to campus early in the morning. Seeing creative lighting installments at areas around the city like at the Belt Z Lot downtown and the amazing outdoor seating area at the Bottom Line Coffeehouse got me thinking about how we could do something similar on campus.”
The Light Up Campus project is part of the placemaking movement, an initiative aimed at making WSU’s campus more engaging and inclusive for everyone.
According to the OED’S website, “Placemaking is a core component of Wayne State’s effort to create a 24-hour campus and foster connections within the campus community and with our Midtown neighbors. Installing holiday lights on campus is just one of many approaches to placemaking.”
The OED is planning to partner with other organizations for various placemaking projects for the upcoming season, including a holiday marketplace and a campus wreath sale to name a few.
“I donated to the lights project and I’m really excited to see it,” said sophomore film major Nina Parker. “It’s a good, creative cause that’ll make campus more lively when it gets chilly and add some cheer to Wayne State.”
Possible locations for the lights are Gullen Mall, along Kirby Street, outside Old Main and State Hall and in the park by the Barnes & Noble bookstore. They will be debuted during Noel Night on Dec. 3.
As of now, Iqbal has raised $1,350 of her $3,000 goal. There are 25 days left to donate.
“People are very receptive to the idea and are very excited about it becoming a reality,” Iqbal said. “Wayne State is filled with people who care about the school and about the city and are open to trying new things to make campus more welcoming for all- not just students, but teachers and visitors too.”
Different rewards are available for those who donate certain amounts to the project at the Warrior Funder website here, including a personalized thank you card and a say in where the lights go up.