Council Tables 'Illogical' FAS Grant Request

The Undergraduate Council allocated $8,250 in grants to 16 student groups at its meeting yesterday, but it tabled a $350 grant request from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), which controls an endowment of nearly $8 billion.

The council also tabled a grant application from the Prefect Program as part of its review.

FAS requested funding for a “Forum for Public Service” sponsored by the FAS Committee on Public Service.

Representatives argued that FAS has a considerable endowment of its own and should not seek council funds.

“It seems a little bit illogical to be giving them more money from student funds,” said Council Vice President Anne M. Fernandez ’03.

Council member Jim R. Griffin ’02 also said he did not understand why FAS would request money from the council.

“It seems like FAS is kind of being cheap on a group,” Griffin said. “We shouldn’t have to step in there.”

Members of the council’s finance committee will take one week to investigate FAS’ application before the council votes on the grant next week.

Council members also asked why the Prefect Program, which is funded by the Freshman Dean’s Office (FDO), requested $350 for a “freshman movie night” that was held over reading period in the Science Center.

They wondered whether prefects organized the event on their own or under the authority of the FDO, in which case they expected the FDO to provide funding.

“It seems like something the prefects themselves went out to do,” said council member D. Alexander Ewing ’03.

The council postponed discussion of the grant “indefinitely.”

The council also debated a $950 grant request from the Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization which used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine, for the production Can You Spell me Darryl Loomis?

Council members asked why the Lampoon, which council members claimed held an endowment of approximately $3.5 million, needed funding from the council.

According to the show’s producer, Lampoon editor Andre V. Moura ’03, the Lampoon did not sponsor or contribute financially to the show. Rather, it served as an official umbrella organization through which the show could be funded.

Council rules mandate that individuals—like the staff of Darryl Loomis—cannot apply directly for funding from the council. They must instead be affiliated with established student groups.

Rather than starting its own group, Moura said the show’s staff chose the Lampoon as its umbrella organization.

“It’s where we knew the most people,” Moura said.

The council’s largest grants were to Kuumba, which received $1,000 for its 2002 Black Arts Festival and to the Lampoon.

—Staff writer Claire A. Pasternack can be reached at cpastern@fas.harvard.edu.