Changes to SIG: The Student Initiative Grant Process has changed - kindly read the new eligibility criteria and application procedure! The deadline for ALL Spring 2013 SIG Proposals will be February 1st.
Student Initiative Grant
The purpose of Student Initiative Grants is to provide support for the events that bring together students, academically or socially, from various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). In addition to monetary support, GSAC is also able to waive the rental fee for 301 Philosophy for eligible groups/events. Types of events supported in the past include, but are not limited to: academic conferences, discussion groups, social events, cultural events, and community service initiatives. The 2012-2013 GSAC budget, which outlines the funds allotted to these grants, can be viewed here
Eligible events must meet the following criteria:
- Events must occur in the future and cannot be funded retroactively.
- No individual student group can receive over $1000 in one academic year.
- The grant will not cover for speakers' honorarium, airfare, lodging or any travel fees.
- The event should not be political or religious in nature.
- Groups that have previously received SIG grants should have submitted a report to the Budget and Finance Chair after the conclusion of the funded event.
- GSAC sponsorship must be acknowledged at the event and in all publicity.
- All sponsored events must be open to all members of GSAS.
Previously funded initiative grants can be seen here
SIG applications are due by October 1st for events being held prior to spring SIG vote (i.e., Oct. 20th - Feb. 20th) and February 1st for events being held prior to Fall SIG vote (i.e., Feb. 20th - Oct. 20th, excluding summer). Applications will not be accepted during the summer. The procedure for the approval of the SIG grant will be as follows:
- Every member of the GSAC finance committee will grade the applications based on 6 criteria (below). Each criterion will be graded on a scale 0-10, for a total of 60 points possible (10 = best).
Note: The details you provide for the questions in the application will help us evaluate your application. So make sure to provide as much details as possible with respect to the above mentioned criteria.
- The event should attract significant number of GSAS students.
- The event should improve graduate student life at Columbia.
- The event should promote interaction between various departments.
- The event should be reasonable (i.e. will the event be successful? Has the group run a similar event? does the application demonstrate appropriate planning?).
- Expenses are reasonable (the estimated amounts provided in the budget are reasonable for the expense items listed).
- The funding is being used for necessary/important aspects of events (i.e. venue fees, necessary supplies, etc. will be given preference over unnecessary food for events).
- The Budget and Finance chair will collect and average the grades for each application. Applications receiving >50 points will be recommended for full funding, 20-50 points will be recommended for partial funding, and <20 will be recommended for no funding. The GSAC finance committee will then meet (either in person or via electronic communication) to determine the amount that each partially funded application should receive. This will be done on a case-by-case basis and will allow applications to be compared with each other.
- The Finance committee's recommendation and comments explaining the recommendation will be emailed to the contact person for each application on or near 10 days after the deadline.
- A meeting of the Finance committee will be held on or near 15 days after the deadline, at which point any groups that wish to appeal the committee's decision can present their case for increased funding and the Finance committee can further explain their decision. The Finance committee will discuss the cases and make a final decision for funding recommendations.
- The Finance committee's final recommendations will be summarized by the chair (including the average grades and explanatory comments) and emailed to the full GSAC plenary at least one day before the 2nd plenary meeting of the semester. At the 2nd plenary meeting of the semester the plenary would be asked to approve the finance committee's recommendations (after amending them, if necessary).
Click here to download the funding application file (MS Word format) and submit it to the GSAC Finance Chair by email before the deadline.
301 Philosophy Guidelines
Here are steps for reserving 301 Philosophy and requesting a waiver for the rental fee:
- Reserve the room. GSAC has no control over scheduling for 301 Philosophy. All reservations must be made in advance through Craig Knobles in 301 Philosophy before submitting a rental fee waiver application.
- Complete and email the application (download the application in Application Process section) to the GSAC Finance Chair.
Rental fee waivers for 301 Philosophy can be approved directly by the GSAC Finance Chair.
While GSAC grants rental fee waivers for 301 Philosophy, the Lounge is subject to a $160 clean-up fee. If the event takes place in
301 Philosophy, you are responsible for returning the space to its original state. This includes, but is not limited to, cleaning, sweeping, restoring furniture to it's original location, as well as closing all windows, turning off all the lights, shutting off all running water and locking the doors behind you.Also, trash should not remain inside Philosophy Hall over night. Please do not touch or move the artwork from the walls or place any item on or near the pianos.
In the event of any damage of property, Columbia security should be notified as soon as possible as well as GSAC.
Funding is on a reimbursement basis, i.e., you must submit receipts for expenses up to the amount awarded by GSAC. More specifically, you will need a printed copy of the GSAC award letter (email) and a completed Columbia Travel and Business Expense Report. Details of how to fill out a Travel and Business Expense Report can be found here.
- The Treasurer is the Payee.
- Submissions should be made within 10 days after the event.
- If receipts are smaller than by 4¼” by 5½”,tape them to 8.5” by 11” paper.
- Arrange receipts in chronological order.
- Only use one side of the paper.
- Include a flyer of the event and the copy of the GSAC award letter (email).
Bring these items to Rebecca Hirade in 109 Low Library.
After the Event
Following all funded events, a report of the event should be filed with the GSAC Finance Chair. This report should include the following points:
Previously Funded Groups and Events
- Was the event successful in achieving its goals and the goal of enriching graduate student life at Columbia?
- How was the budget actually balanced, compared to projected revenues/expenditures?
- How many graduate students attended, compared to the projected attendance? Which departments were represented?
- How was GSAC's contribution acknowledged?
Here are some examples of events that have been funded by GSAC:
GSAC is a non-partisan graduate student organization. GSAC's funding of an event does not imply its endorsement of any views or opinions of the event's organizers or participants.