February 2, 2010

Uncommon Fund proposals whittled down, several devoted to Haitian earthquake

The Uncommon Fund Committee took the first step Saturday towards picking the “uncommon” ideas that will share $40,000 in grant money this year.

The fund, run by Student Government, aims to support student-proposed projects that would otherwise go unfunded. “The University does a great job facilitating student organizations, but not so much with student ideas,” fourth-year committee member and College Council representative Race Wright said. “The Uncommon Fund is the place to promote student initiatives.”

Although the committee received 54 submissions, roughly the same as last year, there were more current event­–related submissions this year. “We’re seeing quite a few about Haiti,” Wright said. “It’s obviously a very hot topic.”

Several RSOs sent proposals to benefit student artwork and spread art around the college community, Wright said.

Past grants have helped bring back the Lascivious Ball as well as “the shanty,” a recreation of the first building on campus.

Almost 20 percent of this year’s submissions, roughly $45,000, are requests to bring various speakers to campus. This reflects the fund’s history as an outgrowth of the University’s big-speakers fund. The Zombie Readiness Task Force was given nearly $6,000 to bring Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, to campus for an Uncommon Fund lecture in 2008.

“The speakers are unique and uncommon in their context,” Wright said, “but not off-the-wall like the zombie attack one.”

Final funding decisions will be made on February 22 after fund candidates give presentations to the committee.