UC Debates Retroactive Funding for Freshman Class Committee Event

Student Art Show at UC
Eloise A. Lynton '17, Co-Director of the Harvard Student Art Show, speaks to the Undergraduate Council on Sunday evening about how the UC can support the 9th annual show opening on April 1.
After spending more money than anticipated at what Undergraduate Council representatives deemed a successful event, the UC voted to retroactively fund “Common Room Crawl,” an event meant to promote inclusive social spaces on campus.

While the Council’s Freshman Class Committee received $550 from the “Everything But Alcohol” grant— which funds dry on-campus social events—and the Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors, organizers quickly ran over budget as more students attended than expected, according to FCC Chair Catherine L. Zhang ’19.

The committee asked for $328.82 in retroactive reimbursement at the UC’s general meeting Sunday.

“Common Room Crawl” took place on Friday in four common rooms across the Yard and used speakers, a projector, and lights from the original allotted funds.

“In the night, we realized there was a huge influx of students who were coming. We actually didn't expect the event to be that successful, but it was awesome,” Zhang said in an interview after the meeting. “So we had decided to get more food in order to make sure we were able to appease as many people as we could.”

Speaking on behalf of the committee, FCC Treasurer Nadine M. Khoury ’20 asked for the retroactive funding in front of the Council. She asked that the money come out of the FCC’s budget.

Khoury said while the Common Room Crawl in Crimson Yard ended up ordering more pizza than anticipated and members of the FCC spent a generous sum of money during the planning process, and all materials were utilized.

“I know that for Crimson Yard, we did our event in [Wigglesworth Hall], and halfway through the event, we ordered twice the amount of pizza,” she said. “But also before then, in planning, a bunch of people went over to Costco and we had a big expenditure. It was all used in the end, so nothing was left over in the end of the night.”

Later on in the meeting, other UC representatives asked Khoury how the FCC will be sure to remain on budget in planning for future events.

“Do you guys have any safeguards in mind in the future so this doesn’t happen again?” asked Lowell House representative Samarth Gupta ’18, who said he was against funding the reimbursement.

Khoury said she plans to be more “detailed” with ordering food and supplies for future events.

“I think a part of it is just honing in in a more detailed way with exactly what we’re going to get and looking at the prices and weighing things a little bit more instead right before of saying, ‘we’re just going to get this much food,’” Khoury said.

Dunster House representative Victor C. Agbafe ’19 said the Council should fund the FCC not only for the event’s success, but also because members paid out of pocket for food.

Ultimately, the legislation passed with only two members of the Council voting against it.

—Staff writer Andrew J. Zucker can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJZucker.