Community Building During COVID
2020-2021 Policy

Budget: $15,000-$20,000/annually
Task Code: GRDPRG
Project Code: SMF

Purpose & Criteria

This is an annual budget to support activities and programs which support student morale. Activities utilizing these funds, must meet the following criteria:

  • Open to all Allen School PhD students

  • Advertised on cs-grads (at a minimum, also ok/encourage to advertise on slack etc)

  • Must follow COVID safety guidelines in effect at the time of the activity

  • Research labs are also permitted to request funds, though the event should still be open to the general grad student community per the criteria above.


Allen School students who wish to lead an event can request funds via the PhD Student Morale Funds Request formIndividual students can request funds for one-off activities or for approval of an ongoing program. Once approved for funding, the event organizer will receive a confirmation email from the Director of Graduate Student Services (Elise Dorough, elised@cs) and/or the Ph.D. Program Adviser (Joe Eckert, jeckert1@cs).

For all requests, the following information is required:

  • Organizational lead/contact

  • Activity name/description

  • Expected attendance

  • Approximate budget per attendee

Ongoing programs which are pre-approved to use these funds for their events (list maintained and updated by the Grad Advising Team):

  • Meet-and-Eat. Lead Contact: Dan Petrisko (petrisko@cs)

  • Dominion Online. Lead Contact: Brian Hou (bhou1@cs)

Reimbursement & Budget Tracking

After the event, reimbursement requests are to be sent to Joe Eckert (jeckert1@cs). Joe will review the request and will submit to the Allen School Business Office (Donna Cheung, cheund@cs) along with a copy of the event approval. 

Reimbursement requests must include the following information:

  • Name & CSEID of person who paid

  • Itemized receipt, showing payment details

  • List of all event attendees

  • Date of event

When food is included, the following government per diem rates (inclusive of tax, tips, fees; updated each fiscal year) apply:

  • Breakfast: $19 /per person

  • Lunch: $23 /per person

  • Dinner: $34 /per person

Activity Ideas (not meant to be an exhaustive list!)

  • Outdoor campfire (s’mores?)

  • Socially distanced picnic in the park

  • Zoo visit

  • Buy a game and play together virtually

  • Snow activities (skiing?)

  • Group bike ride

  • Group volunteer activities

    • Breast cancer knitting circle (like last year before Covid)

    • Other volunteering outdoors

Some places on campus are beginning to open in accordance with public health and safety guidelines and may also have activities: