On Monday night, the Associated Students A.S. Finance and Business Committee discussed the Students of Color Conference, funding for various campus organizations including the A.S. Food Bank and the Mock Trial team and also placed a freeze on the account used by the Student Commission on Racial Equality (S.C.O.R.E) over alleged lack of clear information on where the group’s funding is being used.
A.S. Executive Director Marisela Márquez spoke on behalf of A.S. President Ali Guthy on the upcoming Students of Color Conference event held by S.C.O.R.E. After discussion, the meeting passed a motion to freeze S.C.O.R.E’s finance account, which will be sent to the Senate on Wednesday for ratification.
According to Chief Financial Officer and fourth-year sociology major Andre Theus, S.C.O.R.E has been vague regarding their use of funds.
“There had been a clear misunderstanding of everything they’ve been doing,” Theus said, “They are not being transparent with us as Board.”
According to Márquez, A.S. did not receive adequate information on the planning and selection processes of the upcoming Student of Color Conference, to be held this weekend at UC Merced, to no fault of the organization.
“We need to know more information about the Student of Color Conference in the planning as well as the selection process,” Márquez said. “We want to know what has been the process been so far in selecting who the delegates will be to the conference and how they were chosen. They were not aware of this responsibility of giving us this information and as they hadn’t necessarily done this function on behalf of A.S. before, I believe their responses were genuine.”
According to S.C.O.R.E. diversity educator and second-year biology major Kyron Covington and outreach coordinator Allison Bettencourt, the group needed funds for additional applicants because current funds had already been used.
“We had to reopen the application process to accommodate an increase in applications,” Covington said. “The funds had already been processed.”
In addition, mental health awareness organization Active Minds, a campus group dedicated to mental health awareness, requested $1,162.50 to fund Stigma Free UCSB, a public forum event where student organizations can discuss issues and struggles with mental health and the lack of safe spaces. The group said the event is aimed towards addressing lack of representation of mental health groups on campus.
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) also requested funds from the A.S. Finance and Business Committee. Student representative for MSA Altamash Azam said the group’s first event, a barbeque on Goleta Beach, requires $377.
“It’s going to be an open public forum anyone who has a question for the average Muslim student, open to general public,” Azam said. “We’re anticipating about 40 people and we’re contacting other religious groups on campus to accomplish one of our long-term goals of communication amongst the groups.”
According to Captains of Mock Trial, Andrew Cavarno and Brett Russell and Vice President, Cheryl Wilson, their upcoming Yale Invitational conference is a rare occasion, and requires funds to transport the team to and from the airport once it arrives in Connecticut.
“In the history of our program we have never been able to compete in this national tournament,” Russell said. “We have begun to establish ourselves as national powerhouse after last year and we have received invitations to these East Coast tournaments. We would greatly benefit from this.”
[Correction: This article and the accompanying headline incorrectly referred to the AS Finance and Budget Committee as the the AS Finance Board. That is incorrect. The article has been updated accordingly.]
[Correction: This article previously incorrectly stated Kyron Covington’s position as S.C.O.R.E. “co-chair”, and incorrectly stated Allison Bettencourt’s position as “club historian”. These titles are incorrect, Covington’s position is diversity educator and Bettencourt’s position is outreach coordinator. The article has been updated accordingly.]