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LEF Panel Allocates $25,235

LSC to Sponsor Douglas Adams

By Karen E. Robinson

A speech by Douglas Adams, a Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Show, and an evening of Comedy will be funded in full by the large event funding panel this spring. Three other events will be partially funded by the large event fund.

In total, the panel allocated $25,235 in grants among the six large events for spring term. The panel received requests for $68,677 worth of funding for 14 events with total projected budgets of $122,251.

Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, will speak to MIT audiences in mid-April. This event was proposed by the Lecture Series Committee. Adams’ talk will be entitled “Parrots, the Universe, and Everything,” and take place in Johnson Ice Rink.

The first Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Show will take place in late April, hosted by the MIT Club Latino and the MIT Caribbean Club.

According to the clubs’ proposal, the show is intended to “explore and share the cultures of MIT students from Latin America and the Caribbean.” The event will feature a dinner composed of cultural cuisine, performances from student groups, and “Dominicanish,” a performance by New York-based artist Josefina Baez.

The brothers of Chocolate City, in conjunction with the Black Students’ Union, Imobilare, and others will host Comedy Collage, an evening of comedy and music. Organizers have already confirmed comedians Brooklyn Mike, Keith Robinson, and Victor Cruz for the February event.

South Asian American Students, the Pakistani Students Society at MIT, and Sangam are receiving partial funding for this year’s annual South Asian Cultural show, entitled “Pragathi: The Coming of Age.” The event, which showcases South Asian cultures and traditions, will be held in early April.

The Chinese Student Club, Thai Students at MIT, Association of Taiwanese Students, and Singapore Student Society have been allocated partial funding for Grains of Rice 2000. The student groups see Grains of Rice as “a joint cultural show put together by a coalition of MIT organizations of Asian heritage.” The April event will feature ethnic dishes and cultural performances.

The 25th Annual Ebony Affair, sponsored by the Black Graduate Student Association, has also been granted partial funding. The semi-formal event, whose main thrust “is a creative expression of African-American culture through singing and theatrical performances,” will be held in Walker Memorial at the end of February.

LEF separate from spring weekend

This semester’s large event funding was reorganized to be separate from Spring Weekend. Previously, a committee planning Spring Weekend applied for large event funding every year for the past three years that large event funding has existed, and won that funding.

Previously President Charles M. Vest, Chancellor Larry S. Bacow ’72, and Provost Robert A. Brown all had discretionary funds, and students or student groups could ask them individually for funding. Last year the three consolidated these funds, which amounted to $80,000, and gave half to the UA and GSC and half to the Office of the Dean for Students and Undergraduate Education. The result is that now ODSUE has a discretionary fund of $4,000, and instead of having $50,000 for large event funding each year, the UA and GSC have $25,000 per term for large event funding and a separate $30,000 for spring weekend.

This change did not affect student proposals much, said UA President Matt McGann, because most student groups were not aware of the change. McGann thought that the proposals were affected, however, by the specification that priority would be given to proposals for between $3,000 and $10,000. This discourages groups from inflating expected budget numbers, hoping that by asking for more they will receive what they need.

Requests for large events to be held during the fall, 2000 term will be accepted in late April.

Representatives to the panel were Jocelyn L. Wiese ’00 and Jennifer K. Chung ’01 of the Association of Student Activities; Luis A Ortiz G, Sumit Gautam G, and Brian Lee G of the Graduate Student Council; Matthew L. McGann ’00, Ebraheem I. Fontaine ’02, and Ticora V. Jones ’00 of the Undergraduate Association; and Norma Lopez of the Office of Residence Life and Student Life Programs.