In a brief meeting yesterday evening, the Associated Students Finance Board distributed $14,872 to seven student organizations and allocated $14,000 to the A.S. Legislative Council honoraria account.
The majority of deliberations at last night’s meeting addressed the Legislative Council’s request to transfer Finance Board unallocated funds into the Council’s inadequate honoraria account. After the conclusion of the meeting, the board has $881 remaining in its spring unallocated budget.
During announcements Internal Vice President Chris Wendle asked the board for an allocation of $14,000 to the Legislative Council’s honoraria account because the account did not have enough to pay its members.
“I am coming to Finance Board to be as transparent as possible,” Wendle said. “I am here to ask for $14,000 for Legislative Council honoraria. I know that unallocated is shrinking, so I wanted to ask this week.”
The board then entertained requests from several other student groups before returning to discussion over council honoraria.
Board member Josue Aparicio said last year’s council budget did not provide enough funding for honoraria — the amount of compensation an elected A.S. student representative receives quarterly — as the honoraria amount had been increased.
“Last year’s honorarium was changed from every member getting $400 to $600,” Aparicio said. “It was at the end of the year and the budget had already been set, so we have been working all year on less money.”
Board member James Hawkins said he was reluctant to allocate the council such a sizeable chunk. However, he said, the council members had been promised $600 and deserved what they were expecting to receive.
“As much as it pains me to do this, I don’t think that we should punish everyone,” Hawkins said. “[Because of] last year’s mistake they would not get paid, so I think we should allocate the $14,000.”
After debate, the board allocated the $14,000 to the council with the stipulation that Finance Board previously approve any use of the money for something other than honoraria.
Representatives from a local chapter of Project Eye-to-Eye — a national nonprofit mentoring program for youth — requested funding from the board for a community event.
Program Coordinator Daniel Curtis, a fourth-year biology major, requested $5,000 to put on an event designed to get the community involved in assisting children with learning disabilities.
“This is a nonprofit organization helping kids that suffer from learning disabilities,” Curtis said. “We expect 50-70 undergraduate students in addition to community members.”
Several board members said they didn’t wish to fund the whole request, as a large portion of the $5,000 would cover a speaker fee. However, board member Jason Lopez thought that helping such an underrepresented community vastly outweighed the speaker cost.
“I feel like we should fund some of this,” Lopez said. “It is targeting a group that is underrepresented here on campus, and I think that is really important.”
On the other hand, board member Bennett Duval said the speaker cost was too high, considering the low expected attendance from undergraduates.
The board eventually chose to allocate $3,500 of Project Eye-to-Eye’s $5,000 request.
All told at last night’s meeting, the board voted to fully fund Tribal Belly Dance Fusion, Nu Alpha Kappa and American Indian Student Association (out of the Culture Week fund) and voted to partially fund Project Eye-to-Eye, Phi Alpha Delta, National Society of Leadership and Success and Inter-Greek Council. The board also heard reallocations from Born Again Ministries and Students for Justice in Palestine, resulting in the return of $985 to the current unallocated budget.