SA launches “Innovation Fund” to encourage student-led projects

Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Finance Chair Ben Pryde sponsored a bill to create the SA’s “Innovation Fund” to help students with creative ideas. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students looking to launch a creative project at GW without the help of a student organization can now turn to the Student Association.

The SA amended its bylaws on Monday to create a $3,000 “Innovation Fund” separate from funding for student organizations to help students with“innovative and unique” projects. Finance Committee Chair Sen. Ben Pryde, U-At-Large sponsored the bill and said he hopes the fund will spur more ideas like the solar table, Before I Die wall and What I Be projects, which were all launched by students individually.

“A good idea is something the Student Association should invest in, and students should be coming to us regardless of whether they have the CSE-registered label attached to them,” Pryde said.

Until now, these types of projects had to be temporarily housed under the banner of student organizations to receive funding, since the SA could only allocate money through groups verified by the Center for Student Engagement.

The $3,000 pool would ideally go to one large project, Pryde said, though the SA could potentially split the fund among two smaller proposals.

The money will be drawn from the SA’s cosponsorship fund.

Finance Committee Vice Chair Caroline Bourque insisted the fund would not hurt student groups looking for funding.

“This money for the Innovation Fund isn’t going to negatively impact student organizations on campus. It’s not going to take money away from them,” Bourque said.

Students hoping to secure funding for a project will apply through the SA’s cosponsorship form.

If approved, Pryde and another member of the finance committee will work with the recipient as the project develops.

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