Overlooked funds potential for student programming

Jeff Christoff

In these days of tighter belts and lower budgets, what would you say if you found out that the university has money earmarked specifically for student project use? And that some of it can just sit there, unused, from year to year? Well… what are you saying right now?

The Alyssa Paul Maria Fund and the Class of 1965 Campus Activity Fund were established to inspire creative programming on the Lawrence campus. Students with ideas for events can apply for money from these funds to pay for those events.

The Alyssa Paul Maria Fund for Student Entertainment (APM Fund) exists “to support innovative and exciting programming for the Lawrence University campus,” according to the SOUP website. Any Lawrence student or organization may apply for this money at any point during the academic year, until the funds run out. Once the application materials are received, they are reviewed by a SOUP subcommittee, members of which form a recommendation for approval at SOUP general meetings.

The APM Fund has helped sponsor past programs such as campus dances, the Yellow Technicolor Tour, and lectures on “Creative Dating” and “Differently Gendered People.” Questions concerning the Alyssa Paul Maria Fund may be addressed to the committee chair, Bao Ha.

Another source of available funding is the Class of 1965 Student Activity Fund, money that students can apply for to support activities that enhance their quality of life at Lawrence. This fund has sponsored such events as the recent GLOW conference, a display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Prayformance of Thoth, and the upcoming Battle of the Bands. The stipulations of this fund require that this project be open and advertised to the entire Lawrence community.

“The amount available could vary each year, but typically we have about $3,000 to give out,” Andrea Powers, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, oversees the alumni committee which determines the recipients of the fund. “It sat unused for a long time,” says Powers, “but now that we have the LUAA student relations committee allocating it, it is working well.” Applications for this fund are due the Wednesday of sixth week of first term, and are reviewed once annually.

It is possible to tap both sources of funding. The May 2001 event Ballet Folkl¢rico Mexico – “Danzantes: Pre-Hispanic and Hispanic Dances from Mexico” – was sponsored by both Alyssa Paul Maria and the Class of 1965 funds. Student groups can also submit budget requests to LUCC throughout the year.

It is important to note that these funds were created to inspire unique programming on campus. “Some students are not aware of this when they apply for funding and are disappointed when they are rejected because their ideas were not innovative or creative,” Karleen Dietrich, Assistant Director of Campus Activities, said. “Programs that currently exist (or similar programs) typically are not funded.