Microgrants/Imperial College Wikipedia Society

From Wikimedia UK
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Imperial College Wikipedians are now in our second year and have recently held a highly successful Freshers’ Fair. We would like a microgrant to help maintain our momentum by providing food and refreshments at our next two events.

  • ~£35 – Small buffet at our first Wikisocial of the year on the 16th Oct, 1830, Union Bar. Freshers’ fair mailing list members (>120) who purchase (free) Society membership from the Student Union will join us for a free pizza buffet and a chat about how to get involved with Wikipedia and the Society.
  • ~£15 – Snacks and refreshments at our Newbies’ Wikilounge on the 23rd Oct (Venue TBC). New and old IC Wikipedians to meet for our first edit session of the new term with an emphasis on training newcomers and making Wikipedia editing a social experience.

Members of IC Wikipedians will pay for consumables themselves over the next three weeks of October and seek to be refunded from the microgrant as soon as is feasible. A report on the outcomes will be available the day following each event i.e. the 17th and 24th Oct respectively.

Expected outcomes

We have two measures of success with regards to IC Wikipedians:

  • The number of students who obtain official society membership through Imperial College Union. “”The Union requires each club to obtain a minimum of 20 official memberships each year to prevent dormancy status. Society mailing list members do not automatically have society membership and memberships from a previous academic year do not roll over to subsequent years.””
  • The number of students who subsequently attend edit sessions or events held at three weakly intervals.
Who I am

Edward Harding, President of Imperial College Wikipedians, Imperial College PhD student and avid WikiGnome.

  • The IC Wikipedians run regular social edit sessions during the academic year for like minded people to get together and edit anything of mutual interest. We aim to make the experience as sociable and relaxed as possible and encourage new people to come and learn how to contribute to the Wikipedia articles that they use the most.

Any comments welcome

Many thanks for putting this microgrant together. :-) I wanted to leave this application open for a few days so that the wider Wikimedia community had the opportunity to contribute, but I failed to notice the dates for the events. So please accept my apologies for not responding prior to the first event. I'm happy to approve the £35.95 expense from the 15 October event, and also the pending ~£15 expense from the 23rd October event.
With regards future microgrant applications, I would love to see the IC Wikipedians society become financially independent from WMUK, and I would note that there are typically various funding opportunities available from universities and students' unions to fund university societies. What I would like to see happen is that the society's regular social events are covered by the society's budget, and that outreach-focused or special events are funded by micro- or macro-grants as appropriate. I hope that this suggestion presents a starting point for discussion here! Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:06, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi Mike, I understand your thinking completely. We have treated these first two events as rather special in our calendar as it allows us to get over the Union hurdles for membership each year, as well as replace anyone who has graduated. We have looked at other financing options, but we are not eligible for direct Union funding without charging a membership fee (they double your money) and given the difficulties we face in recruitment that doesn’t seem advisable. I’m sure there are many ways to go about this and I’m very happy to hear some suggestions –for instance, we were thinking of asking the faculty for “minimal snacks and refreshments” as reimbursement for any undergraduate Wikipedia edit- training. --IcyEd (talk) 00:27, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
One of the things that would be helpful to WMUK and the ICWS is if we could have a short, punchy report on how the events went - particularly things that you're proud of like the increased membership - for Stevie Benton, our Communications Organiser at pressatwikimedia.org.uk as he can use news items to let everybody know the good things that are going on. It is also the sort of publicity that can encourage other universities to follow suit with their own societies - all worthwhile. --RexxS (talk) 00:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi RexxS, I'm not sure if you saw the report below but this details the first event with some of the details you have asked for. Let me know if you think anything is missing. Cheers --IcyEd (talk) 09:44, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Ed. Yes, I did see the report below, but what I'm trying to do is to encourage event organisers to get into the habit of giving brief feedback directly to Stevie Benton after their events if there's anything he might be able to use. Hopefully, you'll have more to add when you've run your Wikilounge next week. --RexxS (talk) 00:02, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Having done well at the Freshers’ fair in terms of email sign-ups, an important goal in the run up to our first event was to convert interested signee’s into official IC Wikipedian memberships. By the 16th October we had achieved a fantastic 39 members, beating both the union minimum of 20 and our old record of 25 for 2010/11. The Wikisocial itself was a very successful first event for the term with 17 of our members joining us at the Union bar to meet new people and find out more about the coming year. A great mix of people, from 1st year undergraduates to postgraduates, have recently joined the Society and from quite a variety of subjects. Two of our newest members also expressed a strong interest in the upcoming “Training the Trainers” event. Our first Wikilounge is now fast approaching (Tue 23rd Oct) and the venue has been confirmed as the 3rd Floor Breakout Area of the Biochemistry Building (also called Sir Ernst Chain Bld), South Kensington Campus, Imperial College. We are hoping to see our old-timers help our newest editors to get set up on Wikipedia and ultimately get as addicted as we are.

Actual Costs:

  • Pizza Buffet - £35.95

Ed Harding - --IcyEd (talk) 23:15, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Our Newbies’ Wikilounge was held as planned on the evening of the 23rd Oct with 8 people coming to experience social-Wikipedia. This was a nice occasion for our newest members to get to know each other’s interests and enjoy some social editing. Our target for the event was 10, based on the previous social, but we were not disappointed as we had some interesting discussions. The biggest topic of conversation was on training others as the Society is now sending a total of four IC Wikipedians to the “Training the Trainers” event, with a view to passing on their skills in the student community. One of those who came to the lounge was Dr Ernesto Costa, a Lecturer in Biochemistry. Ernesto came by to discuss educational initiatives involving Wikipedia editing and we have agreed to discuss running tailored undergraduate edit-training sessions, with the aim of good dissertations forming the basis of new articles. This sort of program would be run in conjunction with Dr Anita Hall, who attended the most recent EduWiki Conference, and already sets coursework with a view to moving student content to Wikipedia. Similarly, Anita is also keen to arrange an undergraduate focused ‘edit-a-thon’ in the near future. Overall, it was a good starter session of the year and we are confident of having many more to come.

Actual Costs:

  • Snacks and Refreshments - £15.19

This was purchased beforehand and was too much for a single event of this size. A significant quantity remains and is sufficient to cover us for another two events of the same size over the next six weeks. I’m very happy to discuss this as I overestimated what would be consumed. That said, it is a good enticement for new members at future events. Please let me know what you think. --IcyEd (talk) 00:08, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry too much about having over-catered, especially if what is left over will last until your next event. Judging catering is always difficult and something you can only really learn by trial and error. I would be interested to hear about any discussions you have had about the future funding of the society. I wouldn't dismiss membership fees. Your expenses for these two events came to £51.14 (and, it turns out, you didn't even need to spend that much). With 39 members, and the Union matching the money you raise, that comes to an annual membership fee of 66p. I don't think that will turn many people away! I would set the fee at £2, personally - that tends to be small enough that people don't really think twice about paying it, especially if you say it is to cover the refreshments at events they are attending. That would easily cover these kinds of expenses. As Mike mentioned above, you can then only request microgrants for outreach events and fund internal society events yourselves. Congratulations with the success of these two events and best of luck in the future! (I should join myself, really... I'm a part-time postgrad at ICBS...) --Tango (talk) 20:02, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Many thanks for the reports - it's great to hear that the events went well. :-) I've marked this microgrant as completed, and I look forward to seeing future microgrant applications for future special and outreach events by the society. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:14, 30 October 2012 (UTC)