Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Student Government president launches the Student Involvement Fund

Devontae Torriente’s new initiative will give money to active students on campus

Student Government president launches the Student Involvement Fund

Student Government President Devontae Torriente announced the creation of the Student Involvement Fund on April 4 to allocate funds to support students’ involvement in campus organizations.

Torriente said the fund will act as a scholarship or stipend for students heavily involved with campus organizations in an effort to allow them to focus on their activity instead of an outside paying job. Starting in the fall 2017 semester, money from this fund will be given to full time students that show active participation in organizations on campus.

“As someone who has been involved in various student organizations and leadership positions prior to joining AUSG, I think it's incredibly important that we invest in our students, their organizations and their leadership potential,” Torriente said. “There are plenty of students who need similar financial support so that they can continue to invest their time and efforts into improving our community without the added stress of needing to take a paying job on top of their involvement, being a student and being a person.”

Torriente first proposed the initiative at the first Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting on March 31. The committee, which is made up of students in SG, AU Club Council, Student Media Board and Graduate Leadership Council, distributes the Student Activity Fee and allocates money to all student organizations.

BAC will provide the money needed for the Student Involvement Fund from a reserve fund made of money donated from other organizations. This $22,000 funds initiatives like Empower AU that benefit the campus at large, Student Media Board co-chair Andrea Lin said.

“The idea is that the Student Involvement Fund would be taken from this separate fund to contribute directly to students on campus,” Lin said.

Torriente initially proposed that $5,000 go into the involvement fund and doled out to recipients, but BAC is debating whether that amount should be given out per semester or per year. Torriente also gave BAC the power to decide what determines if an applicant is truly an “active” student on campus.

Students will be able to apply for the Student Involvement Fund between July 28 and Sept. 11, Torriente said. Interviews conducted by the BAC for prospective grantees will begin on Sept. 25 and the BAC will make its final decision on Oct. 13. Multiple students will be able to receive these funds, but details as to how many students and the amount of funds for each are still being discussed, Torriente said.

“I wanted to do it as early as possible to make sure students get the money they need as quickly as possible,” Torriente said.

The BAC is currently in the process of finalizing the details of the fund, such as the amount of money to be awarded and the requirements needed to receive the money. At this point, the recipients will need to be full time students with a specific GPA. The requirements are otherwise not solidified yet, Torriente said.

“I think we can define being an active student in very different ways for different people, so I didn’t want to specifically outline what that looked like,” Torriente said. “I wanted to leave that up to the committee.”

The BAC will meet two more times this semester to work out the final details of this initiative. Torriente hopes that this fund will help out many hard working students.

“As a community, we have to put our money where our mouth is, which means investing in our students and all that they do for our community,” Torriente said.

lcalitri@theeagleonline.com


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