Phase I: Idea Collection Analysis

What follows is an analysis of the data collected from participants who submitted project ideas between August and September 2018 as part of Auraria Participatory Budgeting. Only six idea collection participants completed surveys, and only one idea submitted completed an interview about their experience. Therefore, limited analysis could be performed on who submitted project ideas and what the process meant to them. Instead, our analysis focused on the number of participants, the number of ideas, and the types of ideas collected.


“[PB] makes you feel like you have a claim in the campus, even if it's just pitching an idea. It gives you a sense of ownership of the campus, which feels so, like, monolithic at times.”

- Auraria PB Idea Submitter


Number of Participants and Ideas

  • 423 ideas submitted

    • 403 ideas were submitted in person

    • 20 ideas were submitted online

  • Approximately 400 individuals submitted project ideas

Auraria PB idea collection participants

Idea Collection Events

Auraria PB student volunteers collected ideas from the campus community for four days on campus. Project ideas could also be submitted online, but the vast majority of submissions were done in-person, a testament to the hard work of the student volunteers to recruit participants. 13 students volunteered to work the table during idea collection, which totaled 8.5 hours.

Auraria PB did not hold structured idea collection events called neighborhood assemblies. Instead, project ideas were solicited from passersby on campus, while student volunteers performed outreach from a table at several areas of campus that had large quantities of pedestrian traffic. During our observation of an idea collection shift, we found the Auraria PB demonstrated a high degree of initiative, often walking up to people and inviting them to submit a project idea. Students strove to be inclusive, often doing targeted outreach to attract minorities and engage first-year students. Tabling occurred during the first week of class, and Auraria PB volunteers helped people find classroom buildings and/or get acquainted with campus.

However, the volunteers had varying levels of confidence in their abilities to do outreach. For example, one volunteer previously worked for a political campaign and had no problems approaching strangers and talking to them about the PB process. However, another volunteer had limited experience doing this kind of outreach and took a more passive role, only talking to people if they spoke to her first.

The active and engaged outreach of student volunteers was a significant factor in drawing in the participation of nearly 400 people in just four days (almost 100 people a day). In one day, volunteers handed out nearly 800 flyers to people on campus.

[With PB], there was immediate action that you could take that was relatively time conservative. That’s different from other budgeting that is often so complex. I appreciated that there was immediate action.
— Auraria PB Idea Submitter

Idea Categories

After the idea collection time period ended, steering committee members eliminated some blatantly ineligible project ideas and grouped the remaining project ideas into three broad categories, each with sub categories: campus spaces and shared resources (n = 122); sustainability, wellness, and transportation (n = 59); access, services, and social justice (n = 51); and arts, events, and clubs (n = 49). These categories provided a rough snapshot of the needs and desires of the Auraria campus community.

Campus Spaces & Shared Resources

  • Classroom and Campus Improvements: 37 ideas

  • Spaces for Recreation: 23 ideas

  • Wi-Fi: 14 ideas

  • Textbooks: 11 ideas

  • Student Resources: 11 ideas

  • Additional Spaces: 11 ideas

  • Additional Ideas: 5 ideas

  • Bathrooms: 4 ideas

  • Housing: 4 ideas

Access, Services, & Social Justice

  • Programs and Services: 30 ideas

  • Textbooks: 10 ideas

  • Outreach: 4 ideas

  • Housing: 4 ideas

  • Education, Training, and Workshops: 3 ideas

Sustainability, Wellness, & Transportation

  • Wellness: 28 ideas

  • Transportation: 19 ideas

  • Sustainability: 12 ideas

Arts, Events, & Clubs

  • Events: 16 ideas

  • Clubs and Teams: 13 ideas

  • Art and Music: 11 ideas

  • Additional Ideas: 5 ideas