Quadrangle Club president Daniel Pallares Bello ’20 recently announced that the club will now guarantee that students on full financial aid will not need to pay any out-of-pocket costs for membership. Pallares Bello hopes that low-income students will no longer face financial obstacles to club membership.
“This year, we have completely upgraded the financial-aid policy to be centered around the student,” Pallares Bello explained over email. “We have shifted to a no out-of-pocket cost policy for students on full financial aid.”
Currently, juniors and seniors on full financial aid receive a certain sum of money from the University to fund their board expenses. Quad pledges to pay the difference between full-year membership dues and these university grants to make membership possible for all upperclass students.
Sophomore members on full financial aid will receive $322.50 as a scholarship from the club and will have the option of dropping down from the University’s unlimited meal plan to the Block 190-meal plan. Doing so will allow sophomores to be refunded $277.50 by the University, covering the remaining costs of the $600 sophomore membership dues.
“On Dec. 1, I had my first meeting with the graduate board and got approval for a no out-of-pocket costs policy for full-year dues for students on full financial aid,” Pallares Bello wrote. “On Jan. 12, the board approved my proposal to extend the policy to sophomore dues as well.”
Pallares Bello ran for club president on a platform of access and inclusion. The changes to the financial aid system realize his goal of making club membership more affordable.
“As someone on full financial aid, I understand how difficult it can be to join an eating club,” Pallares Bello wrote. “Many of us don’t have the $600 to pay a club our sophomore year.”
Other club members recognize the significance of the changes to the financial-aid system. They expressed pride in the fact that Quad continues to strive toward diversity and inclusion.
“I hope that the changes will help make Quad more diverse,” wrote Quad member Henry Ando ’20. “The goal is for everyone to feel welcome, and I think this is a step in the right direction.”
Quad member Gabriella Pereira Feron ’19 hopes that other clubs will follow Quad’s example and take similar steps toward expanding their financial aid.
“Hopefully this will motivate other clubs to also become more accessible for students of all backgrounds,” Pereira Feron wrote.
“I know several students who wanted to but did not join an eating club — or were not able to continue their membership — because it would be a financial hardship for their families.”