USG deliberates on campus life improvement grants

Late last semester, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) opened applications for Student Life Improvement Grants (SLIGs), which allow students and groups to apply for funding for long-term campus improvement projects. Currently, the USG executive committee had accepted only one SLIG application, but they are still reviewing more.

SLIGs allocate USG funds in ways which provide benefits to the student body, not just one particular organization. The grants help USG avoid having monetary rollovers to the next semester.

“When we do our funding allocations for student groups during mass funding, we don’t know how much money we’ll have,” said Chippy Kennedy, the USG vice president of finance.

There is a significant amount of prediction and assumption involved, according to Kennedy, but the goal is to prevent rolling over money to the next year, which would be unfair to students who are graduating.

“SLIGs open up that money to the entire CWRU community and lets anyone who has a good idea bring it to USG committees, which determine which projects receive funding based on feasibility and long-term benefits to the community,” said Kennedy.

Rolling applications for this semester’s SLIGs were opened at the beginning of November and officially closed on Dec. 8. The applications were brought before the USG Executive Committee.

The accepted application project, headed by Winterfest and the Footlighters, asked for $10,000 to purchase lights for shows. Normally, Footlighters, Winterfest and other campus groups had to rent lights from local vendors. However, purchasing the lights outright and adding them to the already existing Footlighters Sound and Light Equipment Borrowing System (a result of a past SLIG), will save the group thousands of dollars on their shows and will allow them to rent the lights for free to other student groups.

The executive committee has met since then and has begun to hear more applications. As of press time, there were a total of eight more applicants and $20,000 left to allocate. Three of the nine applications have already been rejected for not meeting all of their requirements.

The committee will hear two applications that they have not heard yet on Jan. 30, and then all of the remaining applications will be voted on to determine which of the projects will be funded.