UC funds MBTA tickets and free detergent program | New

The Undergraduate Council passed legislation establishing a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority grant program and providing free laundry detergent to college students at a Sunday meeting.

The transportation legislation allocates $ 2,880 from the Committee on Social and Residential Life to subsidize MBTA tickets for undergraduates. It aims to eliminate the financial burden that T tickets place on low-income students.

“Transportation is a significant financial strain on low-income Harvard College students,” the legislation reads. “Students and low-income people have requested a free MBTA and have come up with resolutions in light of the financial burden it imposes. “

The MBTA offers an 11% discount to students at over 50 area colleges and universities. Although the program extends to Harvard graduate schools, it does not include College.

As a result, UC will choose 200 students by lottery and grant them three round-trip T tickets.

The legislation also requires UC to contact the MBTA to promote future partnerships to subsidize tickets for undergraduates.

The legislation was sponsored by House Representative Pforzheimer Lisa R. Mathew ’24 and House Representative Winthrop Kimani E. Panthier ’24.

The second bill provides environmentally friendly detergent to dormitories and undergraduate homes to ease the financial burden that laundry expenses place on students.

“Providing free laundry detergent to students will reduce the financial burden of laundry,” the legislation says.

In 2020, the board partnered with detergent company ECOS – the most sustainable detergent brand, according to the Harvard Office for Sustainability – to offer free detergent to affiliates living in undergraduate residential housing. The UC halted the program at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and officially reinstated it with Sunday’s legislation. The council plans to distribute the detergent bottles to the dorms and homes during the three weeks.

The council said it would consider re-establishing its partnership with ECOS to expand the free detergent program in the future.

“The Student Council [will] reopen communications with ECOS to explore possible long-term partnerships regarding laundry detergents for students, ”says the legislation.

The legislation was sponsored by Ivy Yard Representative Michael Zhao ’25 and Lowell House Representative David Zhang ’23.

– Editor Mayesha R. Soshi can be contacted at [email protected]

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