Next year, UCSB students may not be able to enjoy the wealth of cultural, educational and entertaining events that they have seen in past years, as campus organizations that sponsor those events will be forced to scramble for funds due to recent election results.
Associated Students Finance Board usually provides funding for student group events, but because of a failed elections proposal to increase the A.S. fee and a year of investment failures, the starting budget for next year is currently $0, though this is still subject to change. Last year, Finance Board started with $101,824, while this year it began with $24,861.
In previous years, student organizations registered through the Office of Student Life (OSL) received $150 in start-up funds and could receive additional funding for an event after making a proposal to Finance Board, but this year there are no start up funds.
“Now our budget is so tight, we won’t even be able to provide that initial $150 to every organization that needs it,” Rep-at-Large Manuel Silva said.
One way Finance Board may try to remedy its budget crisis is by recharging other groups within A.S. such as Student Health, Silva said. For now, Finance Board could serve as a liaison for student groups trying to find alternative sources of funding.
Other sources of more limited funding are available at UCSB such as the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee and the Shoreline Preservation Fund, but proposals for these groups should address their mission statements in some way. The Student Commission on Racial Equality helps sponsor programs having to do with issues of equality and the Community Affairs Board is involved in funding community service projects, but the Finance Board is an important source of funds for all campus organizations because it is open to everyone.
The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, individual campus departments, and outside grants may be able to supplement the decrease in funding from Finance Board, said Richard Jenkins, the activities advisor for Office of Student Life. Jenkins said that campus organizations will have to look for alternative sources of funding.
UCSB students should expect to see clubs doing a lot more personal and group fundraising next year, but may still have to cut some events from their regular program. Queer Student Union member Kiely Homson said QSU may switch to fundraising events like a Cold Stone Creamery night or look for funding from the Residence Halls Association.
“No matter what, we will still try to put on all our usual events,” Homson said. “There will definitely be Queer Pride Week, a National Day of Silence and a National Coming Out Day. But we may have to focus more on our educational events and cut down on the entertainment side.”
Jeff Farrah, the newly elected chair of the College Republicans, said that although his club may have to work harder now to gather funds, he is pleased that the base fee bill did not pass.
“A lot of the things the Finance Board has funded in the past I have problems with,” Farrah said. “I’m glad that more of students’ money won’t be going to support some of these ridiculous things.”