At a Saturday general meeting, the Harvard Undergraduate Association unveiled initiatives to allocate funding for diversity-related events and subsidies to alleviate expenses for undergraduates.
The HUA announced that they are planning to allocate $5,000 this semester for subsidizing student organizations hosting events celebrating diversity. Applications will open next week with a deadline the following week.
Officers also unveiled a new program designed to alleviate the costs associated with doing laundry. The program would divide $2,000 of laundry detergent between the roughly 45 laundry rooms in Harvard’s undergraduate dorms, HUA residential life officer David Y. Zhang ’23 said.
To further alleviate the costs associated with college, officers voted in favor of expanding their $50 book stipend to all 239 students who applied for the program.
“So often students have needs on this campus that cannot be fully met, whether that is in financial aid or with club funding,” LyLena D. Estabine ’24 said. “I think that in this way, in this project, where students were confident enough to say to us, ‘Hey, I need help in this regard,’ and we have the capacity to help them, that we should do that.’”
During the general meeting, HUA officers responded to complaints regarding inadequate club funding.
“For spring 2023 semesterly funding, we received about 189 applications. That’s notably around 44 more from last semester, totaling about $950,000 in requests, and we only have $165,500 to distribute for this cycle,” HUA Finance Officer Alexander J. Zurovec ’25 said. “So, the same as last semester — we’re going to be making sweeping funding cuts.”
In an effort to encourage more freshmen to become involved in the HUA, officers are launching a pilot First-Year Team this semester, ahead of a referendum vote this election cycle on the creation of a permanent First-Year Team. This pilot team, open for all first-years to join, will be led by the co-presidents. The HUA plans to send out an email recruiting student volunteers.
“A team like this could help support the first-year community and help more first-years feel that they are welcome on the HUA and get more of a sense of wanting to be involved,” Estabine said. “Why should we wait until the spring to try it out and see how it goes, especially since Travis and I are already willing to work and trying to get more first-years involved?”
—Staff writer Natalie K. Bandura can be reached at email@example.com.