Party Fund To Continue For Term

Citing the success of last term’s “Party Fund,” which funded up to 13 parties each weekend, the Undergraduate Council approved a bill last night that reauthorized a slightly modified version of the program for this semester.

While the core of the bill remains the same as that of last semester—undergraduates hosting weekend parties will be able to apply for up to $100 in funding—this semester’s bill prohibits Greek organizations, final clubs and House Committees (HoCos) from receiving council money and cuts a provision requiring that a minimum of 49 people attend funded parties.

An amendment to the new bill also requires the council to establish a mechanism awarding an additional $100 to the hosts of the party that receives the most positive feedback at the end of each weekend.

“It will encourage enough competitive spirit to improve parties on campus,” said Joshua A. Barro ’05, who introduced the amendment, and suggested a similar program as part of his presidential campaign platform last semester.

The amendment requires that the process for determining what Barro called the “most popular” party be established by the end of March.

In addition, the bill reduced the maximum number of parties funded by the council each weekend from 13 to eight, because the council never received more than eight applications per weekend during last semester’s trial period.

In a more contentious debate, the council agreed to fund the Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) after holding over a discussion from last week over what some members said was the group’s discriminatory policy for selecting officers.

The AACF requires officers to subscribe to an oath of faith, which several members said violates the nondiscrimination clause in the council’s constitution.

“We simply can’t disregard our fundamental principles in regards to discrimination,” said E.E. Keenan ’07, a representative for the West Yard dorms.

The question of funding the AACF was separated from discussion of the rest of yesterday’s spring grants package, and eventually passed by the narrow margin of five votes. The rest of the grants passed 37 to 2.

The group will receive a total of $500.

Supporters said that the council had funded the group in the past and that the consequences of revoking funding would have a negative impact on the group, while continuing funding would not be immediately detrimental to any students.

“I can’t identify anyone who will be better off if we don’t fund this group,” said Barro, an Adams representative.

Council President Matthew W. Mahan ’05 said he thought the council’s dilemma over funding the AACF has been caused in large part by the Committee on College Life’s (CCL) handling of the issue.

Mahan said the CCL had first decided that the AACF policy was discriminatory and violated College policy, and then reversed itself last spring.

“The CCL kept it quiet and behind closed doors,” Mahan said. “They’ve done a disservice to the campus.”