Uncommon Fund Announces Winners, Maroon to Digitize 100+ Years of Print Issues

Swipe Out Hunger, Phoenix Farms, “What If,” It’s On Us, and Art as Pedagogy were also funded.


The College

A project to make old print issues of the Maroon viewable online received funding. Some of the Maroon’s archives are currently stored in the basement of Ida Noyes.

By Eugenia Ko

Student Government announced Monday the six Uncommon Fund proposals that it will sponsor. The winning projects were chosen in part through an online contest through voting by students and members of the community.

Proposals called Swipe Out Hunger, Phoenix Farms, the Maroon Digitization Project, “What If,” It’s On Us, and Art as Pedagogy will all receive a portion of this year’s fund.

Swipe Out Hunger, which received the highest number of votes, 621, was awarded $2,019.13 to start a UChicago chapter of a national program that donates leftover food from dining halls to local communities.

Phoenix Farms, at 615 votes, received $2,688.27 in funding for its urban gardening project that hopes to grow gardens and beehives on campus.

The Maroon Digitization Project received 581 votes and was awarded $3,417.10 to digitize the newspaper’s archives. Maroon CFO Andrew Mamo said the Maroon Business Team hopes to work with Special Collections to create a library database that will allow students to digitally search through over a century of Maroon issues.

“We have 125 years of great journalism that our students have done,” Mamo said. “But the fact that [it’s] not ‘googlable,’ if you will, makes it that you would have to come to [the Regenstein], ask for physical copies, and flip through and find it. Digitization is going to make that 125 years of journalism easily accessible to anyone whether you want to do a full scale academic research project or you’re just interested to see what your grandparents wrote about going to UChicago in the ’30s and the ’40s.”

The Uncommon Fund also awarded $4,685 to “What If,” a planned public policy podcast project that received 186 votes, and $2,685 to It’s On Us, a project with 110 votes that aims to raise awareness about sexual assault through student athlete involvement. Art as Pedagogy was also funded $1,337.18 at 104 votes for its project that hopes to integrate art into local elementary school curriculums.

The six winners were chosen from 10 project proposals and will work with the Center for Leadership and Involvement throughout the year to carry out their projects. The Battle RAyale and Familiars are Made Evil (F.A.M.E.) projects as well as proposals of a bounce house replica of the Regenstein Library and a bilingual poetry publication written in Chinese and English for the centennial anniversary of modern Chinese poetry were among the 10 finalists but were not granted awards.

The Uncommon Fund could not immediately be reached for comment on how many votes these four projects received.