Student Senate Announces New Grant Opportunity


Luther College Student Senate approved Viz Biz as a student organization and welcomed new senators at the meeting on September 21. (Photo courtesy of Luther College Student Senate Instagram: @luthersenate)

The start of spring has brought financial fortune for student groups at Luther with the announcement of a new Student Senate grant opportunity on February 17.

The grant was proposed by Student Senate Treasurer Benjamin Houri (‘23). It is open to student groups and individuals who are not receiving direct funding from Luther. According to Houri, the grant was designed with the goal of benefiting both official and unofficial groups.

“The grant is really flexible, [and] that’s how we designed it,” Houri  said. “[Student Senate] really wants anyone who feels the need to apply [for the grant] to apply. We’re hoping for projects that will benefit a lot of people on campus.”

Houri was motivated to develop this grant after noticing how many student groups that were doing positive work on campus were not receiving funding from Luther. In some cases, student groups were not officially considered Student Organizations and as a result, could not receive funds from Student Senate. 

“We always tried to have this grant program, but it just never happened for some reason,” Houri  said. “But there was a good chunk of money just sitting around doing nothing, and if we didn’t spend it, it was going back to the school. We decided to just get [the grant] going.”

Houri says the grant has already received applications from various groups across campus. One of these groups is Luther College Habitat for Humanity, who are seeking funds for a service trip over spring break. Because of the grant, this year the group will be able to go to Naples, Florida. The group plans to build houses, assist in Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and to explore this unique region of the country. The funds from the Senate grant this year will go towards paying for the necessary costs of the trip, such as fuel and lodging.

Luther Habitat for Humanity Co-President Ethan Bellendier (‘23) said that recruitment, funding and travel for all student groups and organizations has been very difficult due to COVID-19. He views the new grant opportunity as a beneficial resource to all students.

“The grant helps all student organizations to build up to the level they were at before COVID,” Bellendier said. “This funding will allow more students to attend memorable events both on and off campus. It also allows students, staff, and faculty to continue to pursue the common goals of the college regarding service and community.”

Norse Against Sexual Assault (NASA) is another group that is considering applying for funding—but not right away. According to Vice President and Social Media Representative Chloe Rozga (‘25), NASA is not currently looking to apply for the grant this semester, as the group has enough funds in their current budget to cover the rest of the year. Rozga, like Bellendier, also voiced concern that student groups are disappearing from Luther due to a lack of involvement and funding. She applauded Student Senate for supporting underfunded and under-supported groups and students on campus.

“I think it’s super important to have different student organizations have funding and give people with similar interests [and] identities a place to gather, or achieve what they’re looking to achieve,” Rozga  said. “[Groups] might not be able to get [funding] elsewhere because of a lack of resources and support from the college itself. [The grant] helps pick up where the college lacks in certain areas of its own goal of building community.”

Houri stressed that the grant application is open on a rolling deadline, saying that as long as Student Senate has money they will accept applications from those who are interested.

“Any groups or students who aren’t receiving funding for their work, that want to receive funding, are encouraged to apply,” Houri said.

The grant application can be found here, and is open as a rolling application. Student Senate asks that all applicants read the proposal before submitting an application. Any questions about the grant can be sent to Senate Finance by email, at [email protected].