The Undergraduate Finance Board met Tuesday evening to hear funding requests from various student organizations. Student organizations that applied were told that they would find out if their funding requests were approved later that evening.
The first student organization to present was the Brown College Democrats, represented by club president Cecilia Marrinan ’24. According to the club’s website, Brown Dems aims to “ensure that we are serving our student body and the wider community of Providence and Rhode Island with the work that we do.”
The club is requesting funding to send students to canvas for Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Marrinan said. “Even if (Warnock) is projected to win, … it’s never set in stone,” Marrinan said. “It’s a really good experience for people to get involved in an election that’s outside of Rhode Island.”
The Democratic Party of Georgia, which Marrinan has been in contact with since September, plans to completely cover the cost of airfare and accommodation for the estimated 30 students attending, Marrinan said.
But food and other transportation costs will not be covered by the political organization, Marrinan said. Because the Brown Dems cannot rent cars as they are under the age of 25, they will have to take Ubers, Marrinan added.
UFB Vice Chair Arjun Krishna Chopra ’25 said that UFB regularly pays for Ubers for a number of student groups that travel.
The second student organization to present was the Chinese Students Association, represented by treasurer Sudy Qin ’25. According to the CSA website, the organization “seeks to celebrate and embrace Chinese culture at Brown, embodying both international and domestic strata of our diverse community.”
This group will host its annual Lunar New Year banquet in February, and due to UFB’s new directive for a fee-free campus, the club is requesting financial assistance, Qin said. If UFB covered the cost of the banquet, the organization would not have to charge for attendance — which has been $10 in previous years, Qin added.
Qin said that the event is open to both CSA members and non-members, as the Lunar New Year is “something that’s celebrated by a lot of East Asian cultures.” According to Qin, they will be hosting 240 people at the banquet apart from the CSA e-board and performers.
The requested funding would cover the cost of food and red envelopes, Qin said. “Because it’s the year of the rabbit, we’re planning on putting together red envelopes with white rabbit candy.”
The event will cost a bit more than previous years, Qin said, due to the number of attendees and catering prices increasing.
The third group to present was Doulas@Brown, a “BIPOC-centered reproductive justice organization,” according to Leona Hariharan ’23, co-president of the club. The group was represented by Hariharan and Bintou Diarra ’23, communications director of Doulas@Brown.
In order to train doulas, the club works with national reproductive health organization Mama Glow, Hariharan said. According to Hariharan, the group will be hosting an expedition for doulas in May, and they have invited a few representatives from Doulas@Brown to present at the expo. “Up until now, (Mama Glow) has provided all of our doula training free of charge … so we’re hoping to raise money to be able to go support their work for all that they’ve done for us.”
The group will be sending five representatives to the expo, Hariharan said.
Diarra described the expo as “a full day of programming (that) gives people exposure to the world of birth work outside of this academic setting.”
The fourth group to present was the TF Green Advisory Board, represented by Julien Deculus ’25. The group is in charge of overseeing the two rehearsal rooms in TF Green that are available to students, said Deculus.
The music equipment in one of the rooms is in a state of disrepair, with a destroyed upright piano, a broken soundboard and only one microphone available. Additionally, the room is filled with trash and in a general state of disrepair, Deculus said.
“The rooms have been abused and abandoned,” Deculus added.
Deculus also requested funding for door locks so the equipment will be protected from theft and damage. According to Deculus, if taken care of properly, the requested equipment could last 10 to 15 years.
The fifth group to present was the Sustainability Food Initiative, a group that has been revived after disbanding five years ago, according to Sanyu Rajakumar ’24, who represented the club at the meeting.
The group will be hosting Kimberly Anderson, founder of Plant City, to give a lecture and host an open forum Q&A to “expose students to basic ideas of food sustainability and more importantly about entrepreneurship (and) advocacy in this space,” Rajakumar said.
The estimated attendance for this event is approximately 60 to 70, and it will be hosted in collaboration with the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, according to Rajakumar. The club is requesting funding for the catering that will be provided at this event, Rajakumar said.
The final group to present was VISIONS Magazine. According to the group’s website, VISIONS is “a student-run literary and visual arts publication that highlights the voices of Brown and RISD’s Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We are committed to being an open forum for AAPIA student artists and makers to freely express their unique identities.”
The group is requesting funding so it can physically print 100 copies of the 48th edition magazine, according to Emily Tom ’24, the treasurer of VISIONS, who represented the group at the UFB meeting.
Indigo Mudbhary is a University news senior staff writer covering student government. In her free time, she enjoys running around Providence and finding new routes.