Want to go to a Red Sox game, the Boston Ballet or a concert? What about going for free? This is precisely what the Fun Fund offers to students: off-campus, alcohol-free activities Stonehill pays for.
Unique to Stonehill, the Fun Fund gives students the chance to do things outside of school without having to worry about stretching their budget. Since the fund started in 2003, hundreds of students have received money to pay for alcohol-free events off campus. Last year, of the 119 applications submitted to the committee, 62 were approved. Prices for activities ranged from $20 to $200, with $99 being the average spent.
To get the fun started, students need to fill out an online application. The price and size of the group participating in the activity does not matter and Stonehill will cover up to $200. A committee of seven students from the Student Government Association and four faculty advisors meet weekly to review the fund applications. The committee stresses the more creative and persuasive you are in your request, the more likely you will get the seal of approval. IT is requested that you submit your application at least two weeks in advice, so there is ample time to process it.
Senior Nino Gentile was a member of the committee for two years and saw firsthand which activities get approved. “The committee looks for creative ways that actually creative an alternative to drinking on campus Friday and Saturday nights. They tend to award more to people who are doing something different,” Gentile said.
Since the main purpose of the fund is to promote activities during the weekend that do not involve alcohol, requests for weekend activities are more likely to get approved than the weekday ones. Any proposal involving drinking will not be considered. So if you were planning on having the Fun Fund donate to your next bar crawl, think again.
“If you really want your application to stand out you should make sure it meets all of the criteria that are on the website, try to include a lot of people and try to think outside the box,” Gentile said.
Sam Rose used the fund her sophomore year to attend the Head and the Heart concert in Boston with three friends. Tickets to the show were $20 each, all paid for by the fund.
“It was really easy to use, and our application got approved pretty quickly,” Rose said. “I haven’t heard of any other schools that have this sort of program. Stonehill students know about it, but I don’t think they do their homework and try to take advantage of it.”
Both Rose and Gentile said the program is underused and students should apply while they can.
“Social media is a huge way to spread the word, and I think Twitter and Facebook updates would help it become more prevalent. Students should really use the resources Stonehill has,” Rose said.
Students can find the Fun Fund application online at www.stonehill.edu/current-students/fun-fund/.