CASE hunts for grants after getting Senate aid

The Center for Alcohol Studies and Education, which has been offered more than $100,000 in funding next year by various campus entities, is now taking up the search for grant money, said CASE director Jennifer Lee.

The center has been extended financial help next year from Student Senate and Housing and Residence Life, with a possible chip-in from University Centers as well. Currently the center’s grant-funding status for next year is unknown, Lee said, who added she may have to wait until next spring before CASE will be eligible for certain grants.

“We never know year-to-year what’s going to be available,” she said. Lee also said the center has to be picky in its grant search because certain grants would require CASE to do things not included in the center’s normal strategic plan.

She also said grants are usually small. “The $300,000 ones don’t come around every day,” she said, alluding to an earlier grant of that amount that helped establish the center on campus.

The Student Senate Finance Commission originally agreed to recommend giving the center no funding at all next year, but later upped the recommendation to $40,000 after Lee appealed for aid in November.

Most recently, Senate voted 22-4-1 last week to approve giving the center $55,500 next year after Lee made several cuts to the center’s budget, including to her own salary and CASE’s travel costs.

Senators said after last week’s vote that the concessions made by the center helped spur the governing body to move more funding CASE’s way.

“They came a long way by cutting and we appreciate their concessions,” said Finance Commission Director Tom Holtan.

Lee said CASE has also been promised $50,000 from Housing and Residence Life. She added CASE will likely cover some of its expenses through revenue from alcohol-education courses.

The center implemented the CHOICES alcohol class last year for students caught drinking underage, Lee said. According to information Lee provided Senate last week, only two people were caught last year after taking the course and 79 percent of course participants recommended the class be mandatory for freshmen.

One resident assistant in Towers South said it’s hard to gauge the center’s impact on students in the residence halls, though he said the CHOICES alcohol course has had visible benefits.

“It’s much better than something else that they might have to do if they get caught drinking,” junior RA Patrick Stumbras said. “I think if you can educate these people more by taking a course, I think we’ll be better off in the future.”