Halfway into the academic year, Associated Students Finance Board is already looking to the next.

At Monday night’s meeting, the board began hearings for next year’s A.S. budget. As many as 10 A.S. entities went before the board to present their proposed budgets for the 2004-05 academic year and explain what the requested money would go toward. This is only the first step in preparing the budget, Finance Board Chair Fernando Ramirez said, and the current numbers are not final.

The majority of representatives from various A.S. branches, ranging from Technical Support to Investment Advisory Committee, said they either kept their budget proposal the same as last year’s or reduced it. Ramirez said A.S. is trying to maintain student services at their current level, even with the budget shortfall.

“It’s difficult for any group on campus, not just A.S., to operate [under the budget cuts] and still provide services to students,” he said.

After this week’s meeting, Finance Board will meet next Friday in a closed session to refine the budget before sending it to A.S. Legislative Council for approval. A.S. President Miguel Lopez must then approve it before it can be finalized. Ramirez said the final draft would be ready in spring.

While waiting for some representatives to arrive, the board quickly moved through regular business and gave out over $2,000 to three student groups hosting upcoming events.

UCSB Hillel was given $1,250 for “I.V. Unplugged,” an annual free concert that will be held Feb. 28 at Hillel. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and is planned to end at 9 p.m. The money will be used to pay for performers and sound technicians.

“The difference between us and some random party in I.V. is that we have some truly high-quality music,” Hillel representative Tobin Greensweig said.

The Nikkei Student Union received $200 for a day of remembrance Feb. 19.

“[The day of remembrance] commemorates the day that President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which relocated Japanese-Americans into interment camps,” Nikkei President Karyn Nishikawa said.

Frank Fukuzawa, a Japanese-American who served in the segregated U.S. military, will give a lecture for the event, Nishikawa said. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. in I.V. Theater.

The board also allocated $665 to Delta Sigma Theta for a talent show that the sorority will host as a fundraiser. The money will be used for renting out Embarcadero Hall, where the talent show will be held, and for CSO security at the event. Tickets to the event are $2 per person and proceeds will go to the sorority and for contestant prizes.

“It’s a showcase for people to express their talent and for the UCSB community to come together,” Delta Sigma Theta Vice President Farrah Brady said.