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UC Funds Printing and Laundry Stipends for Some SEF-Eligible Students

UC Meeting
The Undergraduate Council at a weekly meeting earlier this month in the Issacson Room at the Smith Campus Center.

The Undergraduate Council voted to allocate $10,000 to fund printing and laundry for Student Events Fund-eligible students and another $10,000 to fund Wintersession grants at its general meeting Sunday.

The UC will provide $20 in Crimson Cash at the beginning of the spring semester to a total of 500 SEF-eligible students: 200 freshmen, 100 sophomores, 100 juniors, and 100 seniors. SEF is a College program that covers the costs of some event tickets for students who receive a certain amount of financial aid. The council will decide the students who receive the stipend by a random lottery that SEF-eligible students will be able to opt into, according to the legislation.

Crimson Cash may be used for laundry, printing, and at various restaurants and stores both on and off campus. Representatives at the meeting said that while they acknowledge the $20 may be used for purposes other than printing and laundry, they intend to use the program to study how participants spent the money.

The UC will send a feedback form to participating students at the end of the spring semester. They will then gauge the program’s potential for expansion.

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Freshman Yard representatives Yousuf Bakshi ’23, Esther J. Xiang ’23, Nicholas J. Brennan ’23, Janna E. Ramadan ’23, David Y. Zhang ’23, and Phillip Meng ’23, as well as Quincy House Representative Phiroze K. Parasnis ’21 and Leverett House Representative Jenny Y. Gan ’22, sponsored the legislation.

Some representatives said they are concerned the UC will have to continue bearing the expenses of the program if the University does not institutionalize the initiative.

UC Treasurer Jack M. Swanson ’22 also raised concerns over whether the Council will be able to gather information on the program. He said he does not think giving each student $20 in Crimson Cash would provide the Council with much new information because $20 is not enough to cover the costs of printing and laundry.

Gan said she acknowledges the other representatives’ concerns and intends for the program to be a “first step in the right direction” to improving financial accessibility on campus rather than a long-term solution.

Dunster House Representative Noah Harris ’22 sponsored the legislation to fund Wintersession grants for individual students. While student organizations recognized by the College are eligible to apply for Wintersession funding, individual students are not, according to the legislation.

Representatives at the meeting said students may apply for UC funding to perform thesis research or hold events, among other possibilities.

The UC also voted to fund two other initiatives at its meeting Sunday.

The Council allocated $500 to the Woodbridge Society of International Students — an international student organization — to fund outings to Taza Chocolate Factory over Thanksgiving break. Attendees will receive a factory tour and participate in a chocolate tasting.

“For students who stay [on campus], breaks can often be less fulfilling and lonely as is empty,” Woodbridge’s grant proposal reads. “[W]e want to give students who stay on-campus the ability to go do something fun and out-of-the-ordinary during break so they have a break that is as fulfilling as those of students who get to go home.”

The event will be open to all students on campus over Thanksgiving break, with priority given to international and SEF-eligible students, according to the grant proposal.

The UC also allocated $4,400 to retroactively fund the Nigerian Student Association’s annual Nigerian Independence Day Gala, which took place Sept. 29 this year.

Students from various colleges gathered to celebrate Nigerian culture and the advancement of Nigerian art and technology at the gala, according to the grant proposal.

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

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