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Provost Grants $40K in Funds for Benefit of Student Groups

By Dan McGuire
Editor In Chief

The Undergraduate Association's Finance Board is preparing to receive applications from student groups vying for part of the special $40,000 grant Provost Joel Moses PhD '67 has allocated for student activities.

Applications for the grant are due at noon on Wednesday. "My best guess is that 25 to 30 groups will submit applications," said Finboard Chair Vinh-Thang Vo-Ta '98.

This is the second year that the Moses has given a special allocation to student activities. "I am pleased with the responsible manner in which the money was allocated last year, and I expect that this year's allocation process will be equally fair and responsible," said Moses.

UA President Dedric A. Carter '98 called the new grant a great success. "We presented to our case to the Provost and he was very kind in giving it to us," he said.

"We obviously recognize the need to get more student activities funding," Carter said. The grant will be "something to get us through this year," he said.

"I think it's a great gesture from the Provost," said Vo-Ta. "There's not much funding available to student groups at MIT. There's something bigger that needs to be changed. That's on the mind of a lot of administrators," he said.

Criteria will be flexible

The last time the Finance Board met to disperse the Provost's funds to groups, the priority was to allocate funds to "things that we didn't normally fund," said Vo-Ta. "We liked to finance large capital expenditures."

However, that may not be the case this year. "I'm reluctant to say that's how we feel [now] because we like to be flexible," said Vo-Ta. However, "if that's the tone of the applications" received by the board, then the board will continue to fund one time capital expenditures.

"We don't want to make hard and fast rules," he said. "It was a gift from the provost and we want to be generous in giving it out. We use our best judgement," he added.

Vo-Ta said that finboard will probably not use the $40,000 grant to make up funding shortfalls in activities that didn't get all of the money that they wanted during the standard applications process. "We already have a buffer: the appeals process," he said. Activities "are given the opportunity to verbally defend their request."

"We try to be as generous as possible" in deciding funding levels for groups, said Vo-Ta. The finance board looks at "how well the group has dealt with funding in the past we want to see how much it's grown and how they've become more self sufficient," he said.

Carter noted that even small allocations could have a big effect on groups. "Some groups are putting in their own money to put on their events," he said. "When you get down to the small groups $25 is a big jump," he added.