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Student groups apply to 80K ASSU initiative

Twelve student groups submitted applications for funding in the first round of the ASSU Undergraduate Senate’s initiative to spend a part of the $1.2 million in its general fees reserve and buffer funds.

Applications for the project, “Redefining Student Life: The 80K Challenge,” were open to general fees groups hosting winter events. Groups were given the opportunity to apply for more funding than the $6,000 they can receive through general fees allocation.

The majority of the applications were received between 5 p.m. and midnight on the day of the deadline, according to Appropriations Committee Chair Nancy Pham ’14. Pham said that the Senate had hoped to receive at least eight applications and was pleasantly surprised when they received more.

“Getting more than eight is definitely a good thing,” said Appropriations Committee Deputy Chair Christos Haveles ’15. “There is more competition in the quality of the applications, but at the same time, each application is going to be considered if it meets our standards and will not be compared to another group.”

The Appropriations Committee expects to receive more applications for a similar program for spring quarter. The deadline for spring quarter applications is Jan. 18, and the Senate has received one application thus far.

The committee will review the grant proposals at a meeting on Jan. 15 and announce the grant recipients on Jan. 22. Interviews of grant applicants will be conducted on Jan. 16 and 17, and the committee will recommend groups for the Senate’s approval at their Jan. 22 meeting.

Pham could not yet predict whether the committee will recommend that the entire $40,000 allocated for winter quarter events be given in grants. The Senate did not limit the amount that groups could request, but estimated that the average grant amount was $5,000. Pham said that the committee would not recommend all proposals just to use the entire grant budget.

“We want to make sure this extra funding is spent the right way and put to good use,” she said.

Haveles agreed, adding that granting money to any group that applied would “set the wrong message for the future.”