The Undergraduate Council passed legislation to establish a social inclusion grant for college students, propose that professors revise Harvard’s free speech guidelines, and fund a late-night transportation program during a Sunday evening meeting.
The first act revives a fund made available by UC twice in the past, which students can use to organize social events.
According to the resolution, the initiative was popular in its past iterations.
“The idea for the Social Inclusion Grant has already been floated twice, based on the desires expressed by groups of students seeking support to organize social events,” reads the deed. . “There are huge gaps on campus for students to engage in social life and open spaces are far and too few, especially after COVID-19.”
The program sets aside $6,000 from UC funds to be spread over eight weeks, with each week having up to $750 set aside for events.
The scholarships will be available to all College students. Each week, UC will fund a small event of less than 50 people and a large event of more than 50 people, in accordance with the legislation.
Application cycles for the grant will close each Sunday at 6 p.m., with priority given to events that would not have taken place without the funding, according to the guidelines.
The legislation was sponsored by UC President Noah A. Harris ’22, Vice President Jenny Y. Gan ’22, Pforzheimer House Rep. Lisa R. Mathew ’24, and Lowell House Rep. David Y. Zhang, and was adopted unanimously.
The second law proposes that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences revise and update the FAS Free Speech Guidelines, which were established in 1990.
“Free speech guidelines are a vital part of creating what Dean Gay has described in Harvard’s new anti-racism program as an ‘inclusive college community,'” the law reads.
According to the law, there have been numerous cases over the past year involving the free speech guidelines, and it is likely that Harvard will continue to encounter such situations.
UC has recommended that the faculty establish a review board that is evenly divided between undergraduate students and faculty members.
“The Undergraduate Council will not advocate for specific changes to the free speech guidelines without direct input from the student body,” the legislation states.
The Council would communicate the views of the student body to the review committee through future referenda and policy recommendations, the UC law added.
The act was sponsored by Lowell House Representative LyLena D. Estabine ’24 and passed unanimously.
UC also passed a third bill to fund an overnight ride program in partnership with Lyft.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public transport closes early, is potentially dangerous for COVID-19 and the importance of efficient travel (i.e. Quad to river, to the SEC, etc.), especially the colder it gets, cannot be underestimated,” the legislation reads.
The program will raffle up to 500 students to receive up to $15 in ride credits, with priority given to those who qualify for the Student Events Fund.
The legislation was also sponsored by Harris and Gan and passed by unanimous consent.
—Editor Mayesha R. Soshi can be reached at [email protected]
—Editor Lucas J. Walsh can be reached at [email protected]