University News

UCS to fund service groups

The newly created Service Group Funding Board will dole out $200 per group per semester

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Undergraduate Council of Students voted to extend funding to service groups for the first time during its general body meeting Wednesday.

Though the Undergraduate Finance Board funds Category 1, 2 and 3 student groups, it has historically refrained from funding groups dedicated to service.

The code change establishes a Service Group Funding Board independent of UFB that provides $200 of baseline funding to service groups each semester “to further their missions.” Service groups may apply for supplemental funding if they find $200 insufficient.

The board is “another UFB for service groups,” said Alexander Kaplan ’14, UCS student activities chair, who drafted and presented the code changes along with Sam Gilman ’15, UCS treasurer. “We didn’t want to burden UFB with this,” he said.

The board will comprise two UCS members, two UFB members, one chair nominated from the Swearer Center for Public Service, four service group leaders and one alternate service group leader.

Service groups must meet four criteria to qualify for funding from the board, according to the code change. They must operate locally “within a distance that allows Brown students to make day trips,” have partnerships with local organizations, remain independent from a national funding structure and fundraise at least once a year.

“The real impetus behind this was to continue to support the students who are working in Providence,” Gilman said.

“This makes a powerful statement that Brown is not just what happens on the Hill but in the community as well,” he added.

Gilman and Kaplan originally presented the code change to the Council at last week’s general body meeting, where Council members voiced their concerns. Nick Tsapakos ’13, UCS general body member, said creating the board could equate to “adding another layer of bureaucracy.” Gilman and Kaplan said they listened to Council members’ thoughts and reworked the code changes in preparation for Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think we fixed the problems and clarified the issues from last week,” Kaplan said.

But Holly Hunt ’13, UCS general body member, said the current code change still fails to identify a body responsible for determining which groups meet the criteria for receiving funding from the board.

“That’s a conversation we need to have,” Gilman said. “That’s a further code change.”

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  • BrownAlum

    How will this be funded?