Superman, the NRA and too many people needing too much money led to a four-hour Associated Students Finance Board meeting Monday.
Twelve student groups came to the meeting requesting a total of $49,651.22 from the board’s remaining $18,851.36 Winter Quarter budget. The board doled out 68 percent of their remaining money for the quarter to pay for the requested speakers and to support local organizations.
The largest sum went to the Commission On Disabled Access for a two-day conference for disabled students at UCSB featuring keynote speaker Christopher Reeve.
C.O.D.A. Co-Founder Bill Flores predicted the conference would draw a large crowd.
“I think that this will bring in a lot of students,” he said. “Some disabled students will be there for self-inspiration, some students will be there to be educated, and some will be there to see Superman, but all will leave with more knowledge about a minority group.”
The total event will cost nearly $12,000, with $10,000 donated to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Finance Board unanimously approved the allocation of $4,618. The rest of the money will come from donations.
The College Republicans received a chillier reception to their request for $11,262 to pay for a speech by William La Pierre, vice-president of the National Rifle Association. La Pierre is scheduled to speak about the rights granted by the Constitution’s Second Amendment on Feb. 20 at Campbell Hall.
Jonathan Kalinski, treasurer of the College Republicans, said it was important for UCSB to have controversial speakers, such as La Pierre, because they spark discussion.
“We’ve had several, notable speakers come to UCSB, such as Ollie North and Ward Connerly,” he said, “and the events were well-attended. This is a hot topic, which will provoke opposition and debate, which is all part of our education.”
Several costs within the request were debated, including the security and advertising. Finance Board eventually approved $839 for the event.
Environmental Affairs Board also requested and received a large chunk of money. Finance Board allocated $2,450 to help fund their projects in the absence of the group’s lock-in fee. Last spring, students approved a lock-in fee to fund EAB, but lawyers for the University of California worried EAB’s mission statement might violate a Supreme Court decision, and held the referendum before the Regents could approve it. EAB has recently rewritten their mission statement and could receive its fee Spring Quarter, but will not receive the fee this quarter.
“Students voted for this lock-in,” board member Keenan Lampkin said, “and the only reason we’re not giving them all the money they requested is because we don’t have that much cash.”
Finance Board allocated $12,815 at the meeting, leaving them $6,036.36 for the remainder of the quarter. Groups such as the Isla Vista Youth Projects, which requested $11,422 to pay students in the work study program, could be forced to scale back their plans because of the shortfall. The request was tabled so other sources of funding could be located.
Finance Board Chair K.C. Mmeje said he would try and persuade A.S. Legislative Council to dip into the Capital Reserves fund.
“We’re not looking too good as far as finances go,” he said.
All Finance Board decisions are subject to approval by Leg Council, which meets Wednesday night at 6:30 in the UCen’s Flying A room.