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University News

UFB will end funding for tableslips after break

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Correction appended.

Student leaders discussed the future of tableslipping at Brown — or the potential lack thereof — before a small group in MacMillan 117 on Tuesday night.

The forum, hosted by the Undergraduate Council of Students and the Brown University Activities Council, invited leaders of student groups to weigh in on the Undergraduate Finance Board’s recent decision to deny funding for tableslips for Category III student groups — the category of groups that receive funds from UFB — after spring break.
The decision will be announced to the organizations’ leaders later this week, according to UFB Chair Jose Vasconez ’10.

He said that in the interest of fairness, groups may receive UFB funding in the next two weeks to tableslip for events that will occur after spring break, but funds will not be given out after spring break for tableslipping.

“There will be a lot of money and trees saved with this initiative,” said BUAC Secretary Aida Manduley ’11, who represents the Queer Alliance on the council.

Manduley said there is also much talk among the three bodies spearheading the initiative about phasing out tableslips altogether at the start of next year.

“After this semester, the idea is not to have tableslips, period,” Manduley said. “The idea is to do this gradually.”

She said that though she acknowledges the aesthetic appeal of tableslips, as well as their portability and convenient location when people have little to do in the dining halls, they do have their drawbacks.

For example, not all students are on a meal plan, and tableslips can be wasteful when student groups make too many copies or don’t distribute all the copies they make.
Manduley added that she has two years’ worth of UCS poll data showing a strong desire among students for a centralized location for announcements.

Alternatives to tableslips include Brown’s online events calendar, bulletin boards and postering. UCS President Clay Wertheimer ’10 said the Web site “does the job pretty nicely.”

The new campus center, expected to open in the fall, will also serve as a physical center for event announcements, complementing online resources, according to Manduley.
“It’s hard to get people to use these other methods when tableslips are still available,” Manduley said.

Wertheimer called UFB’s withdrawal of funding for tableslips a “pilot program” to test the feasibility of eventually phasing out tableslips in the dining halls, which could be accomplished through a joint decision by UCS, UFB and BUAC.

“We don’t want to end the tableslipping system immediately,” Vasconez said. The start of next semester could be a good time to make the switch so that the new class of freshmen become used to a more centralized system upon their arrival, he said.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Aida Manduley ’11 as vice chair of the Brown University Activities Council. In fact, Manduley is the BUAC’s secretary and the representative for service, political, and social action groups. The Herald regrets the error.

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