ASG approves guidelines for Wild Ideas Fund


Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Speaker Noah Star swears in a new senator Wednesday at Associated Student Government’s second meeting of the quarter. Senate passed legislation regarding the Wild Ideas Fund during the meeting.

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government passed legislation Wednesday laying out monetary guidelines for the Wild Ideas Fund, a pool of money that allows students and student groups to request funding for their projects.

Funding requests less than $150 will be evaluated by the future Wild Ideas Fund committee without Senate approval. Requests between $150 and $500 will be presented to Senate without a vote, and requests of more than $500 will be sent to Senate for a vote.

The Wild Ideas Fund committee will see student and student group pitches for money on a rolling, case-by-case basis. Unlike the Senate Project Pool, applications for funding from the Wild Ideas Fund does not need to be associated with an official student group.

Senate voted to pass the fund’s approval process after lengthy debate about what the required monetary amount would be to bring a request before Senate.

“It shouldn’t be that complicated for (requests) to come through the committee and Senate,” said McCormick sophomore Wendy Roldan, Panhellenic Association senator. “I think $500 is reasonable. (The committee) knows what they’re doing because they’ll be going through these proposals.”

College Democrats Senator Siddhant Goel proposed the required monetary amounts that were ultimately passed.

Different from other student funding initiatives such as the Senate Project Pool and 10K initiative, the Wild Ideas Fund will be more “accessible and flexible,” said Weinberg senior Serene Darwish, vice president of student activities. 

“We want to minimize the red tape for individuals and student groups who want to apply for this fund,” Darwish said. “We want to focus on creating something new.”

Last spring, ASG approved $20,000 in its budget for the fund. The fund’s committee will allocate $10,000 to be used Fall Quarter and $10,000 to be used Winter Quarter, and $5,000 will be allocated for Spring Quarter, Darwish said.

ASG also discussed creating a committee for a $10,000 student leadership stipend program, which was also approved last spring. The program would grant funds to student leaders who demonstrate higher financial need, said executive vice president Erik Zorn, who would head the committee. Zorn said the committee would not be permanent and would include members from the entire student body. Zorn said that next year, ASG would transfer the committee and its responsibilities to the Center for Student Enrichment Services, a new office that will serve low-income and first generation students at NU. Legislation about the leadership stipend will be further discussed at next week’s meeting on Oct. 15.

Ylda Capriccioso, intergovernmental affairs coordinator for the City of Evanston, spoke at the beginning of Senate about potential changes to Evanston and Chicago’s public transportation systems. Capriccioso encouraged students to fill out a citywide survey about Evanston transit and said the city is looking to work with NU and partners in the community to develop a campaign focused on bike safety.

“We have a great biking community, but we’re having some conflict with biking lanes,” Capriccioso said. “One objective is to start working on outreach, and we’re asking the University to continue to talk to us and stay aware and active about what the city is working on.”

New ASG residential and student group senators were also sworn in, and members of the rules committee were chosen during the meeting.

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Previous stories on this topic:

    ASG discusses Wild Ideas Fund
    ASG approves operating budget for 2014-15 fiscal year