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Student lobbyist group to give grants for community service

By Ryan Gabrielson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 19, 2000
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UA community service clubs may have a new place to turn for extra cash.

The Arizona Students Association - which previously existed only as a lobbying organization under the Arizona Board of Regents - will now help UA clubs through the ASA Community Action Grant.

"This was created as a side thing by the ASA so that they could give money to clubs that normally wouldn't be able to get funding from ASUA," said Cisco Aguilar, University of Arizona student body president. "It's so these clubs can do things they want to do off campus in order to improve the community."

Previously, campus clubs needed to rely on ASUA appropriations and their own fundraising to get extra money.

Three such grants will be given to the finalist at each Arizona university, receiving a maximum of $1,000 towards the finalists' project.

Organizations that are awarded the grants will receive 75 percent of the requested funds at the start of their project and the other fourth of the grant will be received upon the completion.

This is the first semester the grants are being given, and ASA officials hope to hand them out annually.

While optimistic about the grant's possibilities, they don't expect a large number of applicants.

"This first semester we probably won't get as many (applicants) as we would like ," said Sam Leyvas, executive director of ASA. "Next year we'll start early in the fall semester and they'll have an entire year to complete their projects."

Representatives from UA's Camp Wildcat - a student organization that aids Tucson's underprivileged children - said they're already planning on applying for the grants to help pay for the summer camp they organize.

"It's a fair amount since it costs about $4,500 to have the summer camp," said Raghu Nandan, Camp Wildcat's community relations director. "Minus $1,000 it would help a lot."

The recipients are to be decided by a small selection committee with judges from each university.

ASA secured the grant money from revenues from investments made with the $1 each student is charged through registration. The investments were made through the Arizona State Foundation, which directs Arizona State University's fundraising.

Leyvas added that students who don't wish to be a member of ASA can get a refund by sending ASA a postcard requesting the refund.

Leyvas said he hopes this grant will make it easier for Arizona's student organizations to improve the conditions of the community and world around them.

"We want to promote student involvement and encourage student activism on campus," Leyvas said. "This is community serviced based and that is our mission."

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