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March 6, 2012

Student TV station among Uncommon winners

Thirty-eight projects were deemed novel, exciting, or downright weird enough to snatch a piece of the annual $75,000 Uncommon Fund this year.

The winners, announced last night, ranged from a drive to combat sex trafficking in Cambodia to a bid to fry the world’s longest churro.

University of Chicago Student-Run Television (UCTV), which was recently granted RSO status, received the most funding with $6,414.89 with University of Chicago Solar Car close behind with $5,000.

First-year Hunter Owens and third-years Peter Berkowitz and Dexter O’Connell proposed their Late-Night Taco Truck/Horchateria to satiate the appetites of students frustrated with Hyde Park’s limited late-night dining options.

UCTV will look toward ORCSA for additional funding.

Second-year Alex Allen, who helped craft the UCTV proposal, said that the Fund succeeded in its goal of giving “as much money to as many people as possible,” to the benefit of the student body.

“The process was absolutely fair,” he said.

Although their project received $3,316.79 in Uncommon Funding, Owens and his teammates felt that the Uncommon Board’s decision to fund practically half of their project’s most conservative budget estimate hindered them from fully realizing their vision.

“It can be a taco bike,” Owens joked. “We’re glad to receive the funding but that was not exactly what we needed. We hope the money can keep the dream alive.” Late-Night Taco Truck will look towards other on-campus funds to supplement the amount they were allotted from the Uncommon Board.

First-years Orly Farber and Olivia Myszkowski’s project, Speakeasy for Change: Combating Sex Trafficking in Cambodia, received $3,076.34. Despite a “rigorous application process,” both Farber and Myszkowski thought the Board’s process for awarding funds was even-handed.

This year’s process integrated an online voting component during the second round to gauge student support of each project. Though the results did not determine the board’s decision, these results were taken into consideration during Sunday’s deliberation process.

UCTV garnered 425 votes, and the project Greeks Go Green finished second with 402 votes. Both projects received funding; Maroon Heritage Apparel, in third place with 340 votes, did not.

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