TRUSU grant money is there for the taking

Nearly $300,000 available to students each year for conferences, events and lectures

Students presenting grant applications to the TRUSU board of directors at a board meeting on Oct. 18. (TRUSU)

Students presenting grant applications to the TRUSU board of directors at a board meeting on Oct. 18. (TRUSU)

Students at TRU who are interested in attending conferences, holding events or bringing in guest lecturers to a class should be looking to TRUSU for grant money.

In 2015, TRUSU was put in charge of administering a $300,000 portion of the Comprehensive University Educational Fund (CUEF), intended for student grants.

Each year, students pay a percentage of their ancillary fees into the CUEF, which is approximately $900,000, and of that, one-third is dedicated to the student grants program.

The program is divided into three categories: conference grants, general/educational event grants and faculty lecture grants.

In 2015, according to TRUSU’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) report, the union doled out $89,624 for conference grant applications, which is by far the most common grant application.

In that same AGM report, TRUSU states it awarded $7,983 to the only two educational event grant applications submitted that year and just $6,667 to all general event grant applications in 2015.

The one category of grants available to students that is not being taken advantage of is the faculty lecture grants category. According to the AGM report there was not a single application submitted to the board, which is something TRUSU would like to change this year by promoting the grant to faculties on campus.

In the 2015-16 budget, TRUSU’s grant fund has allocated $130,000 to conference grants, $90,000 to event grants and $40,000 to faculty grants.

Amber Storvold, TRUSU’s vice-president external and a member of the board of directors, said she believes the experiences students have at these conferences and events are really valuable.

For students to get approval for a grant application, they must present a conference, event or lecture they plan on attending to the board, who then weighs in on whether or not it is valuable to the students attending.

“We always like to encourage more people to use the grants, so we are going to continue to communicate about them and hopefully more and more people will start to learn that they’re out there, and go for those opportunities,” Storvold said.

Students can fill out the grant application and review application deadlines on the TRUSU website. The next application deadline for this month is Nov. 17.