Citing inflation and larger class sizes, the Harvard Undergraduate Association met with College administrators Thursday to request $682,000 in funding for the 2023 fiscal year.
If approved, the budget would be the largest in Harvard student government history — a marked increase from the Undergraduate Council’s approximately $500,000 yearly allocation.
The HUA executives submitted a 20-page proposal to the Student Activities Fee Advisory Committee, requesting funding that would be allocated toward student clubs and campus-wide initiatives, as well as HUA programs and team retreats.
According to the document, the budget increase would boost club funding by 14 percent, compared to funding under the UC. The proposal also stressed the Association’s commitment to rigorous financial accounting processes.
“The budget proposal is a testament to our commitment to prioritizing club funding and launching innovative programs that all students can benefit from,” wrote HUA Co-President Travis Allen Johnson ’24 in a statement to The Crimson.
Line items included in the budget proposal include $7,000 for a “Finance Team Retreat,” $4,000 for a “QuadFest” event, $3,000 for an HUA “Executive Team Retreat” in the Student Organization Center at Hilles, and $6,750 for spiked drink testing strips.
Dean of Students Office representative and HUA adviser Jason R. Meier, who attended the meeting, said in an interview that it is possible the HUA will not receive their requested amount – or even as much as the UC — due to falling participation in the Student Activities Fee.
Four bodies — the HUA, the College Events Board, housing committees, and the Harvard Foundation Student Advisory Committee — are funded by the Student Activities Fee, a $200 charge automatically applied to the tuition bill of every College student.
Students are able to opt out of this fee, however — a choice that Meier says is gaining popularity.
“It is not a new phenomenon,” Meier said in an interview with The Crimson Thursday. “It has increased over the last few years pretty significantly, and it’s having a real impact on student orgs for sure.”
The HUA expects to receive a response next week, according to Johnson.
—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at email@example.com.