Community aims to improve Towson

By: Christine LaFrancesca

Community members gathered for the Project Towson conference Nov. 5, where speakers pitched new ideas about reimagining and transforming the Towson area.

Coordinator for Civic Engagement Kevin Albano said that Project Towson was about seeing and inspiring change.

“We want to see everyone’s ideas and we want to see those ideas come to life,” Albano said. “This is anyone’s chance to make a change and enforce a new program, create something and get invested in something that they are deeply passionate about.”

Senior Ceanne West proposed a plan involving a partnership with the counseling center to implement more effective counseling groups for students with drug or alcohol addiction, while trying to improve Towson’s response to suicide prevention.

“I want people to know that they have a support system and more importantly, hope,” West said. “Being alone or actually feeling alone came be harmful to your mental and physical health. It’s important that students know that suicide is something that can be spotted and you can be a part of someone’s healthy recovery.”

The presented ideas varied over a broad spectrum of topics from mental health to augmented reality simulations.
Visiting graphic design lecturer James Cosper said that he wants to create a simulation where physical images will be paired with computer-generated sensory input.

“It’s hard to explain, but basically I want students to be able to scan a real-life image and have text, or sounds, or something computer generated to accompany it,” Cosper said. “This would be exploratory for students. It would mostly be student-made, which would be an incredible way for them to make friends and connections that would benefit them in the future.”

Senior Papy Elongo, who attended the event, said that he wanted to see “a really transformational idea.”
“I know this isn’t really a competition but, it would be great to see a presentation that included globalization,” he said. “International students face a lot of issues and I want to see someone have an idea to change that.”

Professor Yulia Hanansen proposed a mosaic mural series that would be cost-effective and virtually maintenance-free.

“Putting mosaics around campus, whether it’s an empty wall or hallway, will boost student mood and positivity,” Hanansen said. “It seems like it would cost a lot to make and up front, it could seem a little pricey, but due to the extremely little maintenance and it’s durability, these works of art will last for years and won’t be a hassle for anyone to take care of.”

Alpha Kappa Psi member Eric Robles said that he was glad his fraternity was involved in Project Towson.

“It was interesting seeing the things that everyone is dedicated to,” Robles said. “The mosaic idea was beautiful and Hanansen is incredibly talented. Honestly, it was just really nice to see the Towson community together and engaged in making this campus and our community around us as great as it has the potential to be.”

Albano said that he was glad to see audience members and participants start interacting after the presentations had concluded.

“This was what it was all for. Seeing everyone so interested in the things they just heard that they rush over to talk to others and begin connecting,” Albano said. “It’s awesome seeing people getting excited about change.”

The Towerlight will spend the next few weeks working on a series where we speak with those who presented at Project Towson and feature their ideas in our upcoming publications.

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