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ARCADE to Support Diversity Events

By Jenny Zhang

STAFF REPORTER

Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict has allocated about a third of the $400,000 his office receives from a new $200-a-year student fee that supports the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center and other student activities.

Fifty thousand dollars has been allocated to the new program “Assisting Recurring Cultural And Diversity Events,” said Jennifer S. Yoon ’03, the president of the Association of Student Activities.

ARCADE will “support recurring events that focus on diversity within the MIT community,” its Web page says, by awarding grants ranging between $1,000 and $7,000.

ARCADE’s funding will be managed by a committee including representatives from the Association of Student Activities, Undergraduate Association, Graduate Student Council, and the Campus Committee on Race Relations.

In addition, the ASA’s Large Event Funding “will receive $50,000 for funding new events,” said Alvar Saenz Otero, the Graduate Student Council treasurer, and the GSC itself will receive $25,000.

In addition to Benedict’s $400,000, Isaac M. Colbert, the dean for graduate students, will get to distribute $200,000 from the student life fees. Most of the fees, between $1 million and $1.5 million, will go to support the new Zesiger Center.

Colbert enthusiastic on fund

“This will allow us to do many wonderful, new creative things,” Colbert said. “We plan to use some of the fund to bring together disparate groups to promote unity, support an Ashdown welcoming dinner for first year graduate students, expand Ramadan awareness to the whole community, and encourage other community-building activities,” he said.

Colbert encouraged graduate students to apply for funding. Proposals will be reviewed by four students and three staff members.

“We have already had our the first round of proposals, and nine groups received funding,” he said. “Soon, we will have another round of proposals.”

Some concerned about allotment

Not everybody is satisfied with the decisions on how to use the money.

Michael D. Steinberger G, a member of the Tech Catholic Community council, said he was concerned about the methods used to allocate money from the fee.

“I think it’s the administration’s job to go to the students and encourage them to submit proposals for funding,” he said. “The money should be distributed more evenly and cover more groups.”

Referring to Colbert’s plan to “expand Ramadan awareness,” Steinberger said he “look[s] forward to the financial support he will show the Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Catholic, Atheist and Agnostic groups on campus.”