The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday August 15th

Carolina Parents Council awards $100,000 to 14 student proposals

In its annual allocation of grant money, the Carolina Parents Council recently awarded $8,000 more than last year — despite receiving fewer grant requests.

The Parents Council awarded about $100,000 this year to 14 different student-led proposals, notifying the selected groups earlier this month.

The council received 20 grant requests. There were 21 grant requests last year and 28 requests the year before.

“This is surprising but understandable due to all of the budgetary restraints the University is under,” said Stephanie Miller, 2013-14 national co-chairwoman of the council.

“Nevertheless, we do encourage and welcome more requests.”

The Parents Council created its grant program in 1995 and has allocated more than $1.2 million to different student proposals since then.

The money awarded comes from membership dues, so it fluctuates yearly based on how many members the council has.

This year’s largest grant — $15,000 — was awarded to SafeWalk. The Campus Y, FallFest and The Learning Center each received $10,000. The Campus Y will use the money for its YFund.

“The YFund provides seed funding for students who have ideas for social justice projects,” said Madhu Vulimiri, co-director of the Campus Y’s development committee.

“Previously, the YFund had been working on a budget of $6,000 per year. We are excited because this grant really amps up how much financial capacity we have to support a lot of new projects.”

Cora Went, another co-director of the development committee, said students who apply for the YFund understand that the fund is limited.

“We’re hoping that when we expand, people start applying with more ambitious initiatives,” Went said. “They can ask for $1,000 instead of $300, which is the average amount of money we give out.”

Carolina Scientific, a student-run magazine which focuses on innovations in science and current research at the University, was awarded $8,000.

Kelly Speare, managing editor of Carolina Scientific, said this money will go toward the magazine’s only cost: printing.

“The magazines are completely free. The money will ensure our ability to continue to print the magazine for free and in color,” Speare said.

When deciding which initiatives would receive grants, council co-chairman Bill Miller said, the Parents Council not only looks at how much money is requested, but also the number of undergraduates that would be impacted.

“FallFest, which affects almost the entire student body, began with a grant from the Carolina Parents Council,” he said. “Now it’s a big deal. I think that goes to show just how important these grants really are.”

Selecting which initiatives receive grants is a hard process, Stephanie Miller said.

“There are energized and impressive groups every year,” she said. “If we could, we would award every single initiative.”

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