In the wake of the recession and the university having to cut back in various departments and Vision In Action programs, it is encouraging to see that the Purple Bike Program has garnered enough interest and support to not only persevere but to expand.
These days, there are so many green initiatives that it is easy to become jaded. Many don’t get the chance to catch on before they fizzle. But the Purple Bike Program is proof that, with strong leadership and some support, a sustainable initiative can make meaningful change.
The program now has gained 35 volunteers this semester on top of last semester’s, well, one. To add to the program’s success, the program also has raised enough funds to add 12 to 15 more bikes.
Last October, Keith Whitworth, sociology professor and pioneer of the program, said: “This is about creating awareness among a large number of people and contributing to a solution. It is in essence a snow ball effect.”
It seems that his hope is in fruition. Now with 35 more volunteers, the program will be able to run more smoothly and garner more support, speeding up the snow ball effect. Until now, just one volunteer was responsible for maintaining and fixing broken parts. The additional volunteers are now running fundraising and marketing initiatives.
Prompting a community to make a change in its lifestyle for a larger purpose is a daunting task. Whitworth is doing something right.
Managing editor Saerom Yoo for the editorial board.