The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 19.0°F | A Few Clouds

Extra $200,000 for Activities Will Be Available Next Fall

By Dan McGuire
Editor in Chief

Student government representatives and administrators will meet soon to finalize plans for allocating Provost Joel Moses' $200,000 increase in student activities funding.

Moses announced in March that he would increase student activities funding to $300,000. That sum included the approximately $90,000 allocated to the Undergraduate Association but does not include the roughly $75,000 given to the Graduate Student Council. Graduate and undergraduate groups will receive a total of about $400,000 in the 1998-1999 school year.

Members of several student governments, including the UA, the GSC, the Association of Student Activities, and the Office of Residence and Campus Activities have met already to discuss how to portion out the new funds. "We've just basically agreed that there will be a portion going to the GSC and some to the UA, and some portion will be set aside for large events such as the Spring Weekend and other large events," said GSC President Brian J. Schneider G.

"A lot of work needs to be done, mostly by students, to decide how to allocate it," said Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams. "We're not going to wait until all of that is worked out before the money is available," she added.

Administrators will also meet to discuss how to portion out the funds, said UAPresident Dedric A. Carter '98. He said that some administrators were pushing to set aside a certain percentage of the allocation for specific types of events, such as concerts or carnivals.

"The provost was very interested in stimulating entertainment on campus," Carter said. Ideas discussed included financing Spring Carnival and adding a new Fall Carnival. There was some discussion about funding two campus-wide social events a term, he said. The goal would be to have activities cooperate to run the new events. Carter cautioned that funding decisions were not final. "We haven't talked about percentages yet," he said.

"We'll come up with some percentages that are fair and equitable," Carter said.

Funding boards use old budgets

Undergraduate activities submitted their requests for funding to the UA Finance Board May 1. The board will allocate funds at last year's levels, Carter said. "They didn't [take into account] any increase," he said. "After it's been cleared up what funds will go where" another funding board meeting will probably be called to allocate the additional funds.

Carter called the decision "the only logical decision that could be made without delaying funding decisions." He noted that many groups plan to begin the year with a certain amount of funds and that delaying allocations until the percentages had been determined might prove disastrous for some groups. "We didn't want an increase in funding to make things worse," he said.

The GSC planned out this summer's budget using last year's allocation, so very little will change for the moment, Schneider said. Decisions about the fall budget will come later, he said. But "we won't allocate any money until we know we have it," he added.

Carter hoped that the final decisions about how to allocate the new funds would be made by the end of the academic year. "Hopefully we'll know as early as June, or earlier" what the percentages will look like, he said. "My view is we'll keep things moving along and get things in place for the fall," Williams said.

The funding increase "puts us in the ballpark of our peers," Carter said. "The goal is to keep trudging down the road to see if we can get something on the order of $500,000 for the year."