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Senate receives 36 applications for $40k spring grant program

The ASSU Undergraduate Senate received 36 applications for the second round of its new grant program, “Redefining Student Life: The 80K Challenge,” a significant increase from the 20 applications received for the first round.

The second round of grants will be used to fund spring quarter events, while the first round funded winter quarter events. Any general fees group hosting an event during either of these quarters was eligible to apply for a grant. A maximum of $40,000 for winter quarter will be announced today.

“We were expecting more for [spring quarter events], but definitely not almost twice as much,” Appropriations Committee Chair Nancy Pham ’14 said.

Pham believes the increase may be due to the greater number of events in spring quarter, as well as the fact that the deadline for spring grant applications was a week later than the winter deadline, giving groups more time to prepare a proposal.

The Appropriations Committee will interview all applicants on Jan. 23 and 24, and will present its recommendations at the Jan. 29 Undergraduate Senate meeting. The Senate will vote on the grant recommendations, which require two-thirds approval to pass.

Applications for the first round of winter quarter grants closed on Jan. 11. In total, 19 student groups submitted 20 applications for $100,000 in funding, with Lambda Phi Epsilon– which submitted two applications– applying for close to $25,000 and the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society applying for more than $13,000.

Pham said that selecting which winter quarter applications to recommend to the Senate was difficult, especially because the committee realized that after making their original selections, the sum of the grants was over $40,000.

The committee reviewed the applications again, and Pham said the senators were “a little more stringent” about making sure that the groups could not receive funding from other sources and that the events matched the original purpose of the grant.

“We didn’t keep track of how much we were spending because we didn’t want to decrease the chance of a group getting funding just because we weren’t under the $40,000,” Pham said. “But when we went through it again, the total summed up to be under $40,000 so it worked out really, really well.”

The program does not stipulate a cap on grant applications, though the Senate had previously predicted that the average grant amount would be $5,000.