Grant may improve quality of life

By Linda Luk

Pepsi supplies both beverages and grants to improve the quality of life on campus.

Every year, as part of Pepsi’s contract with NIU, a Pepsi Quality of Campus Life grant is offered on campus to fund projects and proposals which enhance campus life.

About $50,000 is available annually for the Pepsi Quality of Life grants, said Michael Coakley, chair of the Pepsi Quality of Life grants committee. The division of Student Affairs, along with the Student Association, is charged to administer and implement these funds.

Any campus office or recognized student organization is allowed to submit a proposal for consideration.

“Every year, a committee made up of directors and Student Association representatives review proposals for programs and services that will improve the quality of campus life,” Coakley said.

Chris Juhl, activities adviser for Greek affairs, applied for the grant last year to fund IMPACT, a Greek leadership program.

“I applied for the grant because IMPACT was too expensive to do on my own,” Juhl said. “Here is an opportunity for money, and it will defer the cost so students didn’t have to pay. The fact that students didn’t have to pay was very helpful.”

Ryan Billedo, vice president of the Asian American Association, also applied and received a grant last year.

“I was funding APATITE, a leadership conference, with the Pepsi grant,” Billedo said. “I decided to apply because we decided to make this a free conference, and supplemental funds were needed to make APATITE a reality. The grant helped us to know there are other sources of funding out there besides student fees, specifically SA-related funding.”

Last year, the grant funded 13 different proposals out of 35 that applied.

“More and more are applying,” Coakley said. “There is always more than we can fund. This year, we limited to no greater than $10,000. We think it is better to spread the money out and fund more this time.”

The deadline for this year’s proposal is due Feb. 15 and should be submitted to Coakley, who is also the executive director for Student Housing and Dining Services at Neptune Hall East.

Once the proposals have been submitted and reviewed, the committee will make its recommendation to the provost of Student Affairs, and the provost will make the final decision. The awards will be announced April 1.