Student Funding Board
Harvard Law School
The task of the Student Funding Board is to distribute funding among student organizations with widely divergent aims and interests. Each year HLS organizations collectively request nearly twice as much funding as is available. This year – with the economy in its current state, and with more student organizations and the same amount in the overall budget – the task will be particularly difficult. While the specific balance of funding priorities changes each year depending upon the membership of the SFB, the key considerations remain largely constant. These guidelines are issued to make the funding process more transparent.
The SFB encourages organizations to work together on similar projects and to ensure that a wide range of activities and organizations are funded; organizations and events that overlap significantly are funded on the assumption that they will co-sponsor some events. The SFB attempts to fund diverse views and student populations to ensure that the HLS is a welcoming and interesting community. Organization size is also a significant consideration for funding determinations to ensure that various populations and interest groups have adequate funds given the size of their constituencies. The SFB believes that open membership policies encourage campus involvement and dialogue; exclusive and limited membership policies are viewed unfavorably.
In evaluating allocation requests, the Student Funding Board shall consider the following principles. Although none are requirements, the Board shall look positively upon requesting organizations that advance these principles.
Diversity and Inclusion
Actively promotes diversity and inclusion on campus and beyond through its activities and policies.
Participates in community service and volunteer work.
Develops lasting skills for participants and members, including, but not limited to, advocacy, writing, speaking, or negotiating. Ideal skill acquisition involves actively applying skills, rather than passively absorbing knowledge or activities primarily for recreation.
Accessibility to Students
Proactively works to ensure that its activities are open and accessible to all students, and that they are well publicized to the entire law school community.
Responsible Fund Management
Has demonstrated the responsible management of its funds from past years, has robust fund management practices in place, and has demonstrated rigorous planning for its activities.
Alternative Funding Sources
Has sought and received alternative sources of funding to support itself. Alternative sources of funding are looked more favorably upon if they are used to support the organization’s activities rather than held in reserve.
Has a demonstrable track record of collaboration for its activities in the past, and has concrete plans or secured agreements to collaborate for future activities.
Evidence of Effectiveness
Collects and implements evidence that its activities are effective. Evidence can include, but is not limited to, levels of attendance, feedback from participants, or frugality of purchases.