StiFund becomes STIC, goes beyond its deep pockets

Aniko Drlik-Muehleck '11 studies on a bean-bag, the product of a student initiative, in Burling Library. - Cait De Mott Grady

Aniko Drlik-Muehleck '11 studies on a bean-bag, the product of a student initiative, in Burling Library. - Cait De Mott Grady

There’s another acronym being added to the numerous others that confuse first-years and stump parents.

The Student Initiative Fund (StiFund) is changing its name to the Student Initiative Committee (STIC). According to STIC Chair Bill Mogavero ’12, the name change emphasizes the committee’s purpose of helping initiative sponsors carry out their initiative’s goals after spending STIC’s initial funding.

“We can’t use [our funding] for ongoing commitments, so a lot of our job is finding someone that can fund these initiatives,” Mogavero said.

STIC plans to continue to help students who pass initiatives secure future funding from other groups on campus. STIC Representative Ami Freeberg ’10 helped Anders Ahlberg ‘10 and Hugh Redford ’10 find further funding for their bike shop initiative once they had spent their original budget from STIC.

“STIC gave us money for the start-up, the one-time purchases like tools and stands,” Redford said. “For things that we go through, we’re just going to be applying for funding through the Student Programming Committee.”

SGA President Neo Morake ’09, who is a member of STIC, said STIC provides her with another avenue to advocate for student concerns.

“It’s a chance for me to see what else students are concerned about and that’s what we’re trying to do in Joint Board,” Morake said. “Senators try to figure out what needs to be done or any concerns that the constituents have so that we can implement them through Joint Board. But STIC is a different method of implementing change on campus because students are doing it themselves.”

According to Mogavero, the Committee is also trying to become more transparent by announcing the outcome of each passed initiative publicly so that students are not discouraged from using the initiative process. In the past, several initiatives that were out of STIC’s financial reach have been abandoned without any notice given to the student body.

Mogavero said substantial work is put into an initiative and that several possibilities are looked into for funding before it is abandoned. For example, STIC, with a budget of $20,000, would be unable to pay for a new Arabic Professor out of their budget, as an initiative passed by students last semester suggested.

“So we talked to the Arabic Department and let them know that there is a lot of interest for this and that when they consider hiring new professors that this is a priority for the student body,” Mogavero said. “At this point I don’t know how eager the College is to hire new professors because of money. We did all we could but it’s definitely not a simple thing that the STIC could accomplish all on its own.”