beautification day

Athens Beautification Day is one of the events aided by uFund

Photographer: Denny Culbert

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uFUND turns drug and alcohol fines into positive programming

This year, Ohio University student organizations were able to apply for the uFUND, a source of funding that provides money for events that offer an alternative to nighttime high-risk behavior. 

In this way, students were provided with more opportunities to attend safer events. 

The uFUND is generated by fines students pay for violating the Student Code of Conduct as decided upon by the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility through the judicial process. 

Most alcohol and drug violations are assessed a fine that ranges between $100 and $150, depending on the severity of the case. 

Because of the slight increase in the number of violations of alcohol and drug charges in the 2010-2011, a change in protocol was proposed.

"When a student-led group reviewed the conduct process two years ago, they recommended using fines as a deterrent to violating the code. As a condition of using fines, they recommended that money be put into a fund to be used for programming that would encourage low-risk behavior," said Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones.

Roughly $80,000 was collected in the 2011-12 year, the first year that fines were collected, and fine revenue for 2012-13 is on track to make at least the same amount again this year.

An all-student committee appointed by Student Senate met weekly during the academic year to discuss and review applications. This committee determined which student organizations were approved, denied or required more information for funding. 

Past events that were granted funding from the uFUND include Relay for Life, Women's Week, Take Back the Night and Beautification Day. Funding is considered not only for student organizations, but for faculty and/or staff projects as well. 

Faculty initiated events like the White Night Arts Festival and a coaching symposium co-sponsored by the Patton College of Education were also partially funded by the Ufund.

Students who are charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct violate our community standards, which is a condition of attending Ohio University. These community standards include respecting differences in opinions and diversity and maintaining academic integrity and honesty. 

"We hope that creative programs that offer alternatives to high-risk behavior will continue to evolve from this fund," said Student Senate President Zach George. 

Applications for 2013/2014 uFUND will be available again next year.