Saving Rutgers - Designing for a student campaign

Created: 08/11/12
Last Edited: 04/09/13
Saving Rutgers University
  • Saving Rutgers
  • Saved sites: - Faculty Member maintained news site - A registered non-profit organization for donations, news, etc - Online petition with over 13,800+ signed petition (Over 15,000 with written petition)
    Design, Programming, Marketing/Demonstration Organizer.

    Six months ago the Camden campus of Rutgers University, where I study
    graphic design, came under fire. Seemingly out of the blue, Chris Christie,
    the Governor of New Jersey, endorsed a plan to overhaul the
    higher-education system in New Jersey. Part of the plan called for my
    school to be divorced from the Rutgers family. Worse yet, the Governor's
    plan was utterly lacking in detail. I couldn't believe it.
    I knew that I, and so many other New Jersey residents, had chosen
    Rutgers-Camden because it was close to home, affordable, and provided an
    opportunity to get a world class education at a prominent research
    institution. But instead of studying, I was worrying. Would I graduate with
    a Rutgers degree? Would my tuition be raised? Why was the plan developed
    behind closed doors? What would happen to the distinguished faculty that
    drew me to the school? How much would it cost to accomplish the plan? These
    were just some of the questions that I thought needed answers. Turns out I
    wasn't alone.

    I came up with the idea to create a website where people could organize
    their efforts to keep Rutgers-Camden alive. With the help of social media
    and our petition, the website quickly became a banner under
    which the Rutgers community would rally. In the first few days after
    launch, our website was receiving nearly 3500 hits a day. And in the first
    week we had nearly 5000 people sign our petition.
    Six months, a blog, 10,000+ signatures, several large rallies, and a
    grassroots, guerrilla style public relations campaign later, the part of
    the plan to divorce Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers University was dropped from
    the reorganization plan. It was an epic day to say the least. Luckily I had
    lots of people to enjoy it with. I didn't do this on my own, not by a long
    shot. That's the best part. This whole campaign really brought our school
    together. A lot of great friendships were formed between people who had
    never met before, people who probably would not have met but for the
    website and And thanks to these informed and unified
    supporters, Rutgers-Camden is safe and now has greater administrative
    autonomy and an appreciable infusion of financial support!

    It's amazing what you can do with a little branding and design!

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