The Committee on College Life (CCL) wrapped up a year of work at its meeting yesterday, discussing how to manage the Student Activities Fund (SAF), which supports large-scale, non-alcoholic events on campus, mo=re effectively next year.
The $31,000 that the College spent on the Springfest after party roused contentious discussion about the SAF’s role in the event. The SAF shelled out $10,000 for the afterparty, in addition to the $16,000 from the Undergraduate Council (UC) and the $5,000 that the President’s Office contributed.
The expenditure of SAF money was debated both because it helped sponsor an alcoholic party, and because the event was ultimately poorly attended.
“Funding the afterparty contradicts the purpose of the Student Activities Fund,” said CCL member Jason L. Lurie ’05. “If it would fund alcoholic events, there were many more worthy events that the money could have been spent on. I don’t think it should be a slush fund for the UC.”
But some UC members argued that the event was a step in the right direction.
“The SAF is intended to increase social life at Harvard. What we’re trying to do more in the future is make student groups aware that it exists and take advantage of it,” said Aaron D. Chadbourne ’06, chair of the UC’s Student Affairs Committee (SAC).
SAC vice-chair John S. Haddock ’07 added that he hopes the SAF will be used to support more campus-wide events next year.
The sub-committee on student groups also met yesterday afternoon to continue its discussion on restructuring the recognition process of student groups.
According to the CCL, there are currently 315 recognized student groups on campus. This year, 40 new student groups were recognized, according to Assistant Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II.
Associate Dean of the College Judith H. Kidd said that the sub-committee had a “productive and open” conversation with Deputy Dean Patricia O’Brien yesterday about possibly considering a tiered-recognition process, but that no decisions were made.
The CCL recognized seven groups at yesterday’s meeting, but held off on recognizing the Organization of Asian American Sisters in Service (OAASIS), citing concerns about exclusivity. Upon further discussion within the sub-committee, the group may be reconsidered at a later date.
“It is our understanding that OAASIS has a punch process and is exclusive. Until we have more information about the nature of the group and why they think it’s different than say, The Seneca, which is also a woman-only service organization, we will hold off on a decision,” Lurie said.
In addition, the CCL debated the UC’s initiative to create a more centralized website, which will be worked on over the summer. UC representatives hope to include the Common Grant Application on the website.
—Staff writer Nicole B. Urken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.