Open Harvard College

A Fund To Improve Student Life

Alongside the Dean of the College and the Office of Student Life, the President and Vice President of the Undergraduate Council has established a $30,000 fund for initiatives which effectively address “compelling interests” on campus.  For the year of 2017, those compelling interests will consist of mental health, sexual assault and harassment prevention, race relations, financial accessibility, and inclusive social life.  Have an idea to help the College in one of those areas?  Apply and we’ll give you funding!

Applications for Fall of 2017 are now open!

Funding Available This Year


Compelling Interests 2017

Grants will be awarded to projects that address these five areas at Harvard:

  • Mental Health

    Recent demand for peer counseling spaces in the Quad, calls for a more racially diverse set of professional as well as non-professional resources, and efforts to destigmatize the act of seeking help have elevated mental health to the forefront of campus discourse. The Undergraduate Council will partially devote its Open Harvard College Grant to the mental health initiatives of Harvard College students in an effort to improve existing resources and reprioritize mental health at Harvard College.

  • Race Relations

    The recent Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Report, student rallies in response to heightened racial tensions across America, and concerns over funding inequities along racial lines amongst student organizations have recentered discourse around race relations at Harvard. The undergraduate community ought to foster open dialogue and build community celebrating racial diversity at Harvard College. The Undergraduate Council, in an effort to empower both student organizations and individuals, will partially devote its Open Harvard College Grant to the initiatives of the undergraduate students that address race relations and racial tensions at Harvard College.

  • Financial Accessibility

    Over the past year our campus has been rife with the discussion of the inequity of students not being able to afford course materials for their classes. This inability of a student to choose his or her classes purely based on financial accessibility is unacceptable. The Undergraduate Council will partially devote its Open Harvard Grant to promote creative ideas and partnerships to improve financial accessibility.

  • Sexual Assault and Harassment

    Over the past year, the undergraduate student body has called through protest and petition for stronger preventative measures, a bystander intervention program, the adoption of an affirmative consent policy, and the inclusion of students in decision-making. The students of Harvard College are exposed to a tragic level of sexual assault and harassment endangering their welfare and the safety of our community. Thus, the Undergraduate Council will partially devote its Open Harvard College Grant to enhance preventative measures to reduce sexual assault and harassment of Harvard College students.

  • Social Spaces

    Undergraduates have continuously expressed concern over a lack of inclusive and accessible spaces for social life. In the past year, the College and its students have dedicated time and resources to creatively enhancing social life. The imbalance of resources on campus makes it particularly difficult for students to access their own social spaces. The Undergraduate Council will partially devote its Open Harvard College Grant to empower the student body to host inclusive social events.