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HUA Officers Approve Budget Reallocations to Increase Spring Club Funding at General Meeting

Harvard Undergraduate Association Co-Presidents LyLena D. Estabine '24 and Travis Allen Johnson '24 present at a Jan. 28 general meeting.
Harvard Undergraduate Association Co-Presidents LyLena D. Estabine '24 and Travis Allen Johnson '24 present at a Jan. 28 general meeting. By Addison Y. Liu
By Natalie K Bandura, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Undergraduate Association officers voted to split funding allocations between clubs and student subsidy initiatives during their weekly general meeting on Saturday.

The total amount disbursed for spring semesterly club funding is $166,000 — $8,500 higher than the previous semester due to the reallocation of the entire budget for the Extracurricular Team into club funding. The Finance Team released their spring 2023 semesterly funding decisions for club funding in two separate batches on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20.

The decision was made in response to the 50 percent increase in funding requests received by the HUA from student clubs for spring 2023, HUA Treasurer Alexander J. Zurovec ’25 said during the meeting.

“Of course, we need more funding,” Zurovec said. “It’s not a very sustainable way to fund with such little allocation from the DSO, but we’re doing the best we can.”

The DSO allocated $550,000 to the HUA for the 2022-2023 academic year, marking a 10 percent increase from annual budgets under its predecessor — the Undergraduate Council — but significantly less than the $682,000 the body had requested.

Officers also voted on Saturday in favor of reallocating $1,500 from the Sports Team budget to the Finance Team in order to fund club sports.

The Residential Life Team will exhaust its remaining $19,600 budget on the funding of three projects that were approved by vote during the meeting. One of these projects is to purchase Blue Bikes passes in bulk and distribute them to students, spending no more than roughly $3,200.

“The benefit of this program mainly lies in the fact that when we buy a lot of passes, they give us quite a discount per pass — about 33 percent off,” Residential Life Officer David Y. Zhang ’23 said. “Because the HUA is the one going out to purchase this — effectively with student money funded from the Student Activities fee — we help students save money in general.”

Another approved project by the Residential Life Team will provide $1,600 worth of laundry detergent to be distributed to laundry rooms around campus.

The final project is a continuation of a program offered by the HUA last year in partnership with Five Star Movers, which provided subsidized boxes for students to store their belongings over the summer. Last fall, some participants said they found the program confusing and disorganized.

Officers implemented changes to provide more funding to the program, begin drop-offs earlier, and increase the number of drop-off and pick-up days. With a strict limit of 6,000 total boxes — an increase from the 5,400 boxes purchased last semester — the program is set to accommodate a maximum of 10 boxes per student at a rate of $15 per box.

“We know that last year and in previous years, there have been mishaps with the program with communication or operational challenges,” HUA Co-President Travis Allen Johnson ’24 said. “So we’re starting this program early to ensure that the operations and logistics are seamless and go according to plan.”

Officers also voted to allocate $3,000 of the Social Life Team’s budget toward the creation of the F.U.N. fund, which will reimburse students for the cost of social activities with friends at a cap of $10 per student for up to 10 students. Students can only benefit from the program once, said Social Life Officer John S. Cooke ’25.

The HUA also voted in favor of a proposal by Fez S. Zafar ’24 to allocate $300 from the Executive Team budget to fund a game of Harvard Assassin for juniors.

“We had a really bizarre freshman year where we were online. A lot of members of the class of ’24 didn’t have the chance to properly meet each other,” Zafar said. “It’s really a great way for people to get to know one another and really to just do something in a unified manner.”

Saturday’s general meeting marked the last gathering of the HUA before the results of the body’s officer elections are released.

—Staff writer Natalie K Bandura can be reached at natalie.bandura@thecrimson.com.

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