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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

No funding left for course-related activities this year

Published: March 31, 2006
Section: News

The funding for course-related activities was exhausted for the academic year on Mar. 21, according to an email sent to the faculty by Michele Rosenthal, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

The funds, which are typically used for “end-of-semester celebrations, study sessions or visits to local museums related to class subject matter,” will only be given to professors that have already held events or have events already written into the syllabus. Professors are allowed to use up to $100 per class, according to Rosenthal.

Rosenthal said it was the first time in her career at Brandeis that the funds have been exhausted and she is working with Dean Jaffe and Senior Vice President Eddy on the future of the program. While Rosenthal says she “can't yet say that the funds will absolutely be there [next year],” she stresses that “there is a strong interest in continuing the program in some form.”

Professor Gordie Fellman (SOC), who has used the funds for weekend retreats and providing supper during nighttime presentations, feels “slightly betrayed” by the exhaustion of the funds. If the funding program does not exist next year, “students will have to pay more for the food for the retreat weekend.” In the past, “the $100 available has helped cut each individual student's contribution to food costs for the weekend considerably. They and I are always grateful for this.”

Fellman also expresses concern that this decision was made “politically” as there is still “so much money for remodeling offices, landscaping, [and] all sorts of other expenses.” He notes that in the future, students will be forced to pay more for out-of-class activities, even though some students are not financially able to do so. “[This is] not necessary and not nice.”

Rosenthal notes that should the program continue to exist, her office would like to amend the allocation process so that the funds will not be prematurely depleted once again. One idea that has been suggested is pro-rating the funds allocated to each specific class in respect to its size. This would ensure that larger classes would receive more money than smaller classes, thus making the allocation process more “fair.”