The Undergraduate Council of Students doubled the budget for its recently-created New Initiatives Fund to $1,000 this semester. UCS started the grant last semester to support newer Category I groups that have “feasible, interesting” plans, said UCS Treasurer Stacy Bartlett ’14.
“We’re looking for groups that will benefit the community as a whole,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully, there’s a group with a really cool initiation they haven’t found funding for.”
There is an online application and interview process to apply for the fund. UCS retained leftover funding from the Undergraduate Finance Board last year, and this surplus was added to the grant, Bartlett said.
Under normal procedure, only Category II and III groups are eligible for funding from the UFB. This fund provides a mechanism for new groups to receive funding.
“New groups don’t have a lot of resources. This initiatives fund fills the hole to get something off the ground,” said Timothy Shiner, director of Student Activities and the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. Applicants range from service groups that need funding for projects and trips to groups with specific equipment needs for their productions, Bartlett said.
Fashion@Brown and CareFree Clinic split the grant last semester.
YSPaniola, a group started this semester in support of improving education in the Dominican Republic, is among the groups applying for the grant. The money would be put toward funding a service trip to the Dominican Republican, going not only towards homestay and work in the literacy center there, but also to supporting the center itself, said Victoria Adewale ’13, co-leader of YSPaniola.
“I don’t think any Brown student should be not allowed to go for financial reasons,” Adewale said.
UCS plans to continue offering the grant to new groups in the semesters to come, Bartlett said.