Student groups and organizations will now request funds for events and activities using the Student Activities Funding Engine website, which was launched last year to streamline summer funding requests. SAFE will now be the universal engine through which students make all their funding requests.
The first phase of implementing SAFE, which began in the winter of 2013, allowed individual students to request funds for expenses, including those for senior thesis research, internships and study abroad over the summer. The second phase of SAFE, which will launch after spring break 2014, now allows University campus groups and organizations to request funds through SAFE.
“We are using the same model, which worked quite well for individual funding, for group funding now,” Vice Provost for International Initiatives Diana Davies said. “Students who are familiar with applying for SAFE for something like senior research will find that it looks very, very similar when they go in as a group.”
Student groups previously requested funds through an independent database. Projects Board, a division of the USG, then reviewed their applications. Under the new system, the Projects Board will still review applications and “distribute the funds of mainly the USG to student groups,” Projects Board co-chair Tyler Lawrence ’16 said.
Davies also noted that the funding application for student groups will largely remain the same.
“The particular application format that we used to develop the SAFE for groups is basically the same as groups were filling out before for the Projects Board. So we took the Projects Board’s quick base application and we compared that against some of the other applications, for group funding,” she said, noting that these other applications included those of the Alcohol Initiative Fund, Davis International Center Advisory Board, Pace Center for Civic Engagement and the Office of Religious Life.
Unlike the previous database, SAFE was developed by the Office of Information Technology and is fully supported by the OIT help desk.
Therefore, Davies said, groups applying for funding will be able to receive help submitting their applications using SAFE, and any technical problems with the system can be fixed in a more timely fashion directly by OIT.
The transition to SAFE will also make processing applications easier for the Projects Board.
“People don’t have to email us and be confused about the website because SAFE is very, very easy to use,” Lawrence said. “It is very user-friendly.”
The Asian American Students Association will be holding its most expensive event to date in April. Lena Sun ’16, the association’s co-president, said she was worried funding could become confusing if there were kinks in the system or if SAFE was not working the way it is supposed to because it is so new. However, Sun also said she believes SAFE to be a great idea.
“The website itself looks a little confusing but I think in concept it’s really good,” Sun said. “This way we don’t have to go through multiple sources to receive funding.”