Associated Student Government to continue, expand community engagement grant

Stephanie Yang, Reporter

Associated Student Government awarded three student groups the Service and Community Engagement Grant but missed the deadline for distributing most of the funds.

ASG announced March 1 that Arts in the Community, NU Emerge and Students for Ecological and Environmental Development will share the $500 grant.

Though the money was supposed to be distributed by March 15, Arts in the Community and NU Emerge are still waiting for their grants of $100 and $200, respectively, because they have not been recognized by NU’s Student Organization Finance Office, said Chris Harlow, a SESP freshman who co-wrote the grant. SEED has already received its $200 grant, he said.

Arts in the Community will create a mural in an Evanston Fire Department station, SEED will buy supplies for after-school environmental education programs and NU Emerge will build a website for its student leadership workshops at Evanston Township High School. The delay in funding doesn’t seem to have deterred any of the projects, Harlow said. The groups will carry out their proposals over Spring Quarter, and they will give a presentation to ASG later in the quarter.

Weinberg junior Mike Morgan, creator of the grant, said this was a “trial year,” and he is currently working to turn it into a long-term grant.

“(NU administrators are) really interested in the idea, but we have to see if we can secure more funding from the school to expand the program,” Morgan said. “Given the success, we might also use more money funding for ASG to sustain the program for next year.”

Morgan said once it receives the funding to continue the grant, ASG will be able to support more proposals and larger projects.

The committee of three ASG senators, off-campus life director Anthony Kirchmeier and Evanston citizen engagement coordinator Adelita Hernandez reviewed 14 applications before choosing the grant recipients.

Harlow said ASG chose to fund several groups to maximize benefits of the different projects.

“If we could help three groups at least halfway, then we could benefit the relationship between Evanston and Northwestern greater than just one group go all the way,” he said.

SESP senior Danielle Moehrke said NU Emerge’s partnership with ETHS, the University and the city of Evanston creates community engagement. Her group was unaffected by the funding delay.

“We’re getting involved in the community and making others get involved in the community as well,” she said. “It’s kind of this cool ripple effect that I think a lot of other organizations don’t necessarily have.”