The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VSG Senate passes resolution establishing $5,000 student activism fund

The bill seeks to promote student activism and expression by providing funding to registered student organizations for advocacy and demonstrations.
Alexa White
Graphic depicting student activism. (Hustler Multimedia/Alexa White)

The VSG Senate passed a resolution on Oct. 19 to establish a student activism fund,  allocating $5,000 of VSG’s budget for registered student organizations on campus to use for activism. The legislation was designed with the goal of fostering student expression on campus.  

Each student organization can use up to $250 for the 2022-23 academic year. These funds will be managed by the VSG Diversity & Inclusion Committee, whose mission is to represent the diverse perspectives of the Vanderbilt community and foster student activism, per the VSG website. D&I Committee Chair Shreya Gupta, a junior, said she hopes the resources provided by the bill remove financial barriers to expression on campus.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all that clubs will do with these funds,” Gupta said.

Gupta said VSG will be creating an AnchorLink form to allow organizations to apply for the funding likely within the next week. The D&I Committee will also use the information collected from the form to coordinate the logistics of distributing funds with the Student Services Office.

“This year is really the pilot year of having a separate fund to support student activism,” Speaker of the VSG Senate Angela Yan, a junior, said. “I’m excited to see how this plays out, and we will make modifications throughout the year as needed.”

VSG began working on the activism fund bill during the Spring 2022 semester after speaking with student organizations about their needs. The first draft of the legislation was created by the VSG Senate in early September. After repeated revisions, the bill was passed two weeks later.

“We came back this past Wednesday with an edited bill aligned with Senate feedback and were able to pass the bill this time,” Gupta said.

Senior and Co-President of Vanderbilt Prison Project Alejandro Moncayo said he was excited about the new fund and hopes it will enable student groups to be more vocal on campus. 

“The current administration in the Vanderbilt Student Government has done well to put their money where their mouth is,” Moncayo said in a message to The Hustler. “There is always room for more, but this is an undeniably good start.”

According to VSG Vice President Ari Sasson, VSG collaborated with various branches of Vanderbilt administration including the Student Affairs Office to add language to the bill to ensure that the usage of the funds aligns with the Vanderbilt Community Creed, VSG’s Mission Statement and Vanderbilt Freedom of Expression policy. Furthermore, the bill prevents usage of the funds to inflict harm on specific students, avoiding personal and organizational liability for hosting organizations, the university or VSG. 

“We firmly believe that both transformative education and research really thrive in an environment where people can freely explore ideas and have discussions and civil discourse even on various controversial issues,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said during an interview with the Hustler in May. 

Sasson said he was excited about the bill’s potential to promote the diversity of student ideas on campus.

“This bill is crucial for repositioning the role of VSG in advocating for student voices,” Sasson said.

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About the Contributors
Adam Hosein, Former Staff Writer
Adam Hosein (‘26) is majoring in economics and minoring in political science in the College of Arts & Science. He is previously from Parkland, Florida. When not writing for The Hustler, Adam loves biking, playing violin, watching Netflix and listening to music. He can be reached at [email protected].
Alexa White, Former Graphics Director
Alexa White ('23) is from Traverse City, Michigan, and is double-majoring in secondary education and English. When she isn't writing for The Hustler, she is probably teaching, reading or creating art. After graduation, Alexa plans to be an English teacher and hopes to inspire kids to love reading, writing and exploring their creativity in all forms. She can be reached at [email protected].
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Comments (3)

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1 year ago

Note that the graphic depicting student activism for this article only promotes left wing causes. It is almost as if the Vanderbilt Hustler promotes one viewpoint.

How about promoting ALL Lives Matter, the 2nd Amendment, free markets and the dignity of Life. Students care about these issues.

1 year ago
Reply to  student@vu

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. The graphic has been updated to reflect more views. We apologize for any concerns the previous graphic may have inadvertently caused.

Jessica VU 95
1 year ago

Please report the number of organizations and amounts that will go towards conservative causes.

With oversight by a Diversity & Inclusion committee, we should all be skeptical of how the money will be distributed.