House Masters Approve New UC Fund

The Undergraduate Council will move forward with the Student Initiated Program (SIP) fund, members said at last night’s council meeting, where plans for the first event of the semester were discussed.

The SIP, which is part of the UC’s effort to improve social life on campus, marks the first time that the Council has funded alcohol since the elimination of the party grants program in 2007.

The program—which has been a work in progress for a year and a half—got approval from House masters last semester, clearing the final hurdle to its implementation.

After two pilot programs in Quincy and Pforzheimer Houses last spring, the  first official SIP event will likely be held in Mather House within the next few weeks, according to Daniel P. Bicknell ’13, a co-chair of the Mather House Committee.

The UC and Mather HoCo met with the Mather House Masters last fall. According to Bicknell, the House Masters were supportive and seemed excited to host a SIP event.


“Mather has great House life and community spirit and there is usually a solid attendance at House events,” Bicknell said. “With UC funding I think it would be great event for both the House and the surrounding neighborhood as well.”

According to UC Student Initiatives Committee Chair David Gonzalez ’11, the UC will be meeting with both the Mather House Masters and HoCo on Tuesday to coordinate a date for the event.

If a date can be set, an application will be sent out to Mather residents, who may then apply to receive funding to host the SIP event.

“We are looking for creativity,” Gonzalez said. “When people apply to us to get money we are going to reward the ideas that are most creative.”

Each SIP grant is worth around $400. According to Gonzalez, there are no real “hard and fast rules” about how to spend the money, although students will receive some guidelines for using the funds. House Masters have some authority to determine where money goes, but in the end, the students hold the ultimate control, Gonzalez said.

Last year, when the pilot programs took place, the UC received about a half-dozen proposals, according to Gonzalez.

“We are expecting similar numbers this year, perhaps more,” he said. “There has certainly been more anticipation.”

A few changes will also be made based on feedback from the two pilot programs. While House masters last year insisted on having police present to monitor the SIP events, it was decided that this precaution was unnecessary and will no longer be enforced, Gonzalez said.

—Staff writer Rachael E. Apfel can be reached at