By Ariel Serafin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
UA students seeking money for club activities may be able to get cash from another resource besides the student government: grants provided by Alltel.
The cell phone service company provided the UA with about $120,000 in grants last year to be used for various activities on campus, said UA Judicial Affairs Coordinator Anthony Skevakis.
In exchange, Alltel is the official cellular provider for the university, which means the company has exclusive rights to advertise on campus or provide service to a department, Skevakis said.
Although the first year of the "strategic alliance" gave the UA a fixed amount of money, funding for the remaining four years of the five-year agreement will be dependent on Alltel sales at the UA.
During the first year, Alltel gave the university two grants. The first, named "Fund for the Arts," allows staff members to apply for funding for art-related projects. The second, "Connect Me," is used to sponsor activities for official UA clubs, Skevakis said.
Steve Mack, director of procurement and contracting services, said students, faculty and staff receive a 10 percent discount on their
Alltel purchases at the UofA Bookstore and the Alltel store if they show a CatCard.
In return, the UA receives 5 percent of the purchases made using the CatCard discount, Mack said.
"It's money that's coming out of the marketing arm of Alltel," Mack said.
More than $75,000 worth of grants have been distributed so far to an assortment of student clubs and events, Mack said.
The funding has made certain events possible, including the Alliance for Autism, the Industry Extravaganza of Epic Proportions, a soil judging contest, Donate Life Week, and UA Happy Hour, an interactive DUI and alcohol awareness program, Mack said.
Students who want to apply for grants must submit their grant requests to Skevakis, who will review the applications to make sure they meet all necessary criteria.
Requests that meet the criteria will be passed on to a committee of about 20 students, staff and faculty members who determine whether or not, and to what extent, they wish to fund the event.
Although any student may submit a request for funding, students who wish to fund private events or "vacations" for themselves will not receive a grant, Skevakis said.
"The purpose of this grant is to connect people," Skevakis said.