ASG discusses Wild Ideas Fund

Alice Yin, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government discussed Wednesday the logistics of its new Wild Ideas Fund, which will allow students and student groups to request funding for new initiatives.

The project, which ASG approved when it passed the 2014-15 operating budget last spring, will work similarly to the 10K Initiative and Senate Project Pool, said Weinberg senior Serene Darwish, vice president of student activities.

However, she said it aims to “have minimal red tape” in order to better sponsor “spontaneous, creative type” endeavors.

“The mission of the Wild Ideas Fund is to serve as an alternative source for funds on campus for creative projects and events and ideas,” Darwish said.

The projected budget for the fund will be $25,000. Senate approved to allot $20,000 to the pool last spring and hopes the Division of Student Affairs will grant the remaining $5,000.

Darwish said NU’s previous funding method only provides money for recurring projects. However, she said the Wild Ideas Fund will instead look at each pitch on a case-by-case basis and won’t necessarily take into account whether or not it has been done before. In contrast to the Project Pool, the ideas do not need to be affiliated with an official student group to qualify for funding.

“Currently within our funding model … it doesn’t really allow flexibility of new ideas to be planned around for us to support,” said McCormick senior Alex Van Atta, vice president for student groups. “So hopefully [the Wild Ideas Fund] is the infrastructure where those ideas can be done in a more efficient way.”

Members of ASG executive board said the fund will likely be run by a new Wild Ideas committee which includes Darwish, executive vice president Erik Zorn, two representatives from the Student Activities Resource Committee, one representative from the Student Activities Financial Committee, one representative from the Student Groups Committee and two campus representatives elected by Senate.

In response to a question raised about the potential for money to run out at the end of the quarter, a concern in previous years, Darwish said the committee will work around that issue by spreading out the allocations.

ASG plans to look at the allocations on a quarterly basis, rather than annually, Van Atta said. Darwish said more money will be allocated during the Fall and Winter Quarters, as there is less major programming during those times. During Spring Quarter, many more prominent student groups hold events that may conflict with any budding projects the Wild Ideas Fund would support.

ASG has put up fliers in residential halls and received emails over the summer from interested students regarding the new project, Darwish said.

Official legislation on the makeup of the Wild Ideas Fund will be presented to Senate at the next meeting on Oct. 8.

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