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UC Funds Cultural Celebration Week, Bike Subsidy Program

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The Undergraduate Council is expanding its bike subsidy program to all undergraduates, regardless of their house affiliation.

The Undergraduate Council voted to allocate funds for its Cultural Celebration Week and a bike subsidy program for low-income students at its general meeting on Sunday.

The UC allocated $5,100 to fund the Cultural Celebration Week. The event will comprise a discussion forum on Oct. 24 and a Cultural Celebration Night in the Smith Campus Center on Oct. 26, according to the legislation. Both events will be open to all College students.

UC President Sruthi Palaniappan ’20 and Vice President Julia M. Huesa ’20 co-sponsored the legislation to fund the programming.

The cultural week is in part a response to the fact that “several cultural and affinity organizations have noted the need for events that bring together these various groups,” according to the legislation.

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The Smith Campus Center allowed the UC to rent the space for Cultural Celebration Night at no cost, according to the budget breakdown. As a result, the majority of the funds will be used towards catering services during that event.

The event will feature a student DJ and a playlist with songs requested by various cultural groups on campus, according to Palaniappan.

Madison A. Trice ’21, the Council’s Director of Inclusion and Belonging; James Mathew ’21, the Council’s Chief of Inclusion and Belonging; and the Harvard Foundation Student Advisory Committee Chair, Adinawa D.M.A. Adjagbodjou ’20 will lead the discussion forum. The Student Advisory Committee is a group of representatives from student organizations that have a mission of “improving race relations and promoting intercultural awareness and understanding,” according to the Harvard Foundation website.

Huesa said that she and Palaniappan reached out to student cultural organizations on campus to help plan the event.

“This event looked pretty different a few weeks ago than what it is now,” she said

The UC also voted to allocate $6,000 for a bike subsidy program for students that are Student Events Fund-eligible.

The UC first piloted a bike subsidy program in 2018 for SEF-eligible students living in the Quad and quickly expanded the program to include students living in Mather and Dunster Houses after it received significant student interest.

This year, all SEF-eligible students at the College, including freshmen and students residing off-campus, will qualify for the program.

While freshmen were not eligible for subsidies in the proposed legislation at the meeting, Oak Yard representative Ethan J. Johnstone ’23 submitted an amendment to include freshmen, which the Council passed.

The program will provide a $50 subsidy to a maximum of 120 eligible students to purchase a bike, scooter, or skateboard.

Students living in the Quad, Dudley Community, or off campus will receive priority for the bike subsidies over students living in River Houses and freshmen, according to the legislation.

— Staff writer Kevin R. Chen can be reached at kevin.chen@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @kchenx.

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