This week, the Office of the Provost announced that it will provide grants of up to $3000 for student groups with members from at least three different Harvard schools who work on interdisciplinary academic research projects. This boon will provide valuable resources to groups who previously could not receive any funding from the University because of their affiliation with more than one school. It can also unite groups across the University, strengthening their message.
The grant, which can be used to fund outside speakers, experts, conferences or meetings, could provide the community with enriching events that take advantage of the wide array of graduate schools in the University. Too often undergraduates are unable to capitalize on the resources afforded by the graduate schools. The Office of the Provost is providing a new avenue for undergraduates to share in the wider Harvard community. This new fund will not only encourage collaboration between the different schools, but it will also reward those groups which already reach across campus lines.
We encourage student groups to take advantage of this opportunity; the money provided will allow undergraduates to have a stronger voice both within the College and throughout the rest of the graduate schools. For example, the money could be used to unite already existing student groups in the different schools, giving the collaborative organization a stronger voice across campus. This particular aspect of the grant could be useful for political groups in the upcoming elections, or social activist groups who would like to organize a conference to generate a wider base of support. A wide array of groups has access to the fund, provided their use of the money falls under the broad category of "academic purposes."
The Office of the Provost is to be commended for providing this new resource, but it is the responsibility of undergraduates to take advantage of the opportunity. If we do not, others will.
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