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Groups Agree to Divide Grant, Create New Large Event Fund

By Zareena Hussain
News Editor

In the latest round of decisions over the fate of a $200,000 allocation by the outgoing provost to student activities, $50,000 has been set aside to fund large campus wide events designed to involve the entire community.

In addition, $96,000 will go to the Undergraduate Association and $54,000 to the Graduate Student Council for student activities. Representatives from both governments agreed to divide the remainder of the funds in this manner in negotiations which took place over the last several weeks. Tentative policies for the disbursement of the common $50,000 have also been established.

Discussions over long-range funding policies are still ongoing. These talks include representatives from the executive committees of the UA, GSC, and the Association of Student Activities. The ASAwas not involved in the original decisions to split the funds.

Funding deadline set for summer

The impetus for a fund for large campus events came from both the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate and Education and from student leaders who perceived a need for campus community events, said GSCPresident Brian J. Schneider G.

"We all saw the need for specifically targeting money for events that would bring the campus together. In particular we wanted different student groups to pool resources in order to present a worthwhile and fun event," Schneider said.

About $15,000 to $20,000 of the large events fund will be allocated in the fall, with the remainder to be handed out in the spring.

The deadline for applying for fall funding from within the large events fund has been set for noon on June 29, despite the fact that many students had already left for the summer.

"The UA, GSC, and ASAwanted to get this money out as quickly as possible so that student groups can start planning for a large event in the fall," Schneider said.

"We knew that people would complain by making the deadline during the summer, but we wanted to get the money out to the student groups as quickly as possible," he added.

Priority for funding will go to well planned events that appeal to a wide audience, Schneider said.

Applicants for fall large event funding will meet an ad-hoc committee of three representatives from the UA, three representatives from the GSC, and two representatives from the ASA for review, Schneider said.

Funding will continue

It now seems likely that funding at increased levels will continue in future years despite previous uncertainty. As a result, all of the provost's $200,000 initial allocation will likely go to fund student activities for the 1998-99 academic year.

"All the indications from the administration lead us to believe that this is a renewable resource for student activities," Schneider said.

"With the increase in funds, [ODSUE] has indicated that there will be a higher scrutiny on the dispersal of funds made by the GSC and the UA," Schneider said.

The administration's apprehension to increase involvement in the upcoming funding decisions stems from previous efforts to implement more streamlined ways of allocating funds to student activities as recommended by student services reengineering, said Assistant Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Katherine G. O'Dair.

Currently, students are setting the policies for funding distribution. The administration is unlikely to get overly involved in setting policy for allocating the additional funds, O'Dair said.

One of the recommendations that came out of student services reengineering was the push for a Central Allocations Board, a joint committee between the UAand GSCto decide upon funds for student groups in which both undergraduates and graduate students are members.

While the ASAwas supportive of such a board, leaders within both the GSCand the UAwere strongly opposed, O'Dair said. Funding powers were deemed as one of the core responsibilities of both student governments. A central funding board was seen as taking away those powers, O'Dair said.

The initial decision during reengineering to remove responsibility from students "didn't fit right with the students," O'Dair said.

Further complications may arise in the GSC surrounding the use of their grant. The GSCis uncertain as to whether all of the $54,000 allocated to it will be allocated to graduate student groups. Currently, they may be forced to use $15,000 for a revamped Graduate Student Orientation in the coming year.

"The Graduate Student Council is still continuing to find alternative sources of funding for graduate student orientation," Schneider said.