Special Initiative Fund

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The AUS Special Initiative Fund is an opportunity for students, student groups and campus clubs to receive funding for their new event and/or project. This an excellent way for individuals to benefit from both the Arts community, and the student levies collected each year. The Council is responsible for voting upon every application ensuring that AUS funding will benefit the academic, professional and/or social lives of Arts Students at Wilfrid Laurier University. Total project funding is set near $50,000.

Projects may include, but are not limited to

Academic conferences

Academic projects

Academic activities of department clubs

Performing and fine arts events

Capital projects and investment in infrastructure

Speakers

Independent research

 

Funding Dates

There are 4 Grant Funding Rounds each academic year, all applications are due a week before the Council meets.
For the 2015-2016 academic year these are the following dates for Council’s meetings: Oct 24, Nov 28, Feb 6, March 4

Funding Policies

All funding must follow AUS Project Guide (see below) as well as the Ontario Guidelines.

The Process

1. Applicants fill out an applicant form online. They will then receive an email confirming AUS received their application and the time and date of their presentation.
2. Applicants present to the Grant Fund Council for 5-10 minutes. The Council has 5 minutes to ask any additional questions.
3. Council will privately discuss caliber of project and then vote.
4. Special Initiatives director will notify the applicant of the decision within the week.

Evaluation Criteria

The funding of any submission received is at the discretion of the AUS committee. The committee reserves the right to reject any proposal it feels does not meet the criteria established below. The deadline for applications each year will be determined at the discretion of the Executive Council, and all deadline dates will be announced within the first 2 (two) weeks of Fall semester.

The following evaluation criteria are used by the AUS committee to evaluate the merits of each application:

1. Does the application enhance the educational experience or cultural life of students in the Faculty of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University?

2. Does the project have a definite focus and a clear plan of implementation?

3. Does the applicant have a clear and definite time-line for completion of the project?

4. Is the amount of funding appropriate to the project?

5. Has additional, non-AUS funding, been sought for the project?

6. Does the project conform to the University’s standards as stipulated in the Research Ethics Policy and the Ethical Purchasing Policy?

Eligibility

i) All individuals applying for AUS funding must be registered in the Faculty of Arts at WLU’s Waterloo campus both at the time of their application and throughout the tenure of their award

ii) AUS will only fund WLUSU campus clubs affiliated with the Faculty of Arts. Before you apply, be sure your club is registered as an Arts campus club.

2. No group or individual may hold or apply for 2 (two) or more awards per semester. An individual or group may receive 1(one) award per semester.

3. Individuals applying for awards for the same project may group their applications, but the names of each individual applying in the group and their expenses must be itemized individually.

4. AUS may fund projects that flow out of course or program requirements, but AUS funded projects may not themselves constitute a course or program requirement. For example, AUS may fund research voluntarily undertaken by a student to improve their work in a course or program but it will not do so if that research is a requirement.

5. Group applications (such as theatrical productions or applications from campus clubs) will only be considered for funding if they are shown to clearly enhance cultural or intellectual life in the Faculty of Arts and the activities sponsored must be advertised among and open to all members of the Faculty of Arts community.

6. AUS will not fund charitable organizations external to the university or fundraising activities, but it may fund projects that increases awareness of issues related to charitable causes. All such projects must be advertised among and open to all members of the Faculty of Arts community.

7. Awards will not normally be carried over from one fiscal year to the next, though in exceptional cases AUS may fund multi-year projects. Funds not claimed or accounted for by year-end (April 30) return to the AUS account.

8. Any hardware (computers & equipment) purchased through a AUS grant remains the property of WLUSU and must be returned c/o the Dean of Students at the conclusion of the award (normally year end – April 30), unless otherwise noted.

9. AUS will normally not fund projects involving the employment of or remuneration for work done by an award-holder or by others. It may, however, fund honoraria in the case of individuals providing a service, such as a performance or guest lecture, advertised among and open to the entire Faculty of Arts community.

11. All advertisements for AUS funded projects will clearly and obviously indicate that AUS funding was received and such AUS support will be acknowledged at all public performances, conferences, guest lectures and all such public events as received AUS support.

12. All submissions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and proposals funded in the past by AUS do not set precedence for similar project funding in the future.

General Regulations

i) All submissions from award-holders for the dispersal of AUS funds must be receipted according to WLUSU policies.

Travel Awards

i) Travel awards are normally limited to $500 per applicant.

Travel Advances

i) Applicants who will need a travel advance must make this clear at the time of the application and their application for an advance must be accompanied by a detailed justification.

ii) No more that $500 may be requested as a travel advance and receipts against advances must be provided within 14 days of the end of the travel for which the advance was made. Award holders are required to reimburse the AUS account for the unreceipted portion of any advance and a hold will be placed on their university record until such reimbursement is made.

iii) Submissions from award-holders for travel advances must be made to the AUS President, via e-mail.

Room and Board Awards

i) Accommodation awards are usually limited to $300 per applicant. Meal funding is awarded at a maximum of $10.00 /day for a maximum of 5 days per applicant, for a total of $50.

Guest Speaker Awards

i) Guest speaker funding is awarded at a combined maximum of $5000, per event. AUS funds may be used to cover travel, accommodation, and honoraria costs.

ii) All applications for guest speakers, presenting on WLU property, must be approved in advance by the Dean of Arts.

Breaks and Receptions

i) All funding for breaks and receptions will be decided at the discretion of the AUS committee.

ii) Breaks and Receptions will usually only be funded if they hire the WLU or WLUSU Catering services.

iii) There is no maximum on funding for breaks and receptions. The committee will determine award allotment on a case-by-case basis.

Other Awards

i) AUS will consider projects not falling into one of the previously defined categories, such as, but not limited to: conferences, film projects, trips, musicals, plays, etc, provided they meet the AUS requirements.

Appeals

i. Unsuccessful applications may be formally appealed once per application.

ii. Specific reference to the nature of the appeal must be made at the time the appeal is submitted.

iii. Appeals must be received via e-mail within 15 (fifteen) days of the AUS Committee’s decision date.
iv. The aforementioned criteria as stipulated above must be successfully met in order for your appeal to be considered.