Even with its funds running low, Associated Students Legislative Council gave money to two student-sponsored events at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Although A.S. Finance Board (ASFB) is the division of A.S. charged with allocating funds to student groups, Leg Council stepped in to approve funding for an event hosted by Nu Alpha Kappa (NAK), Zeta Phi Rho and Lambda Theta Nu fraternities. The council also gave money for a week of events remembering the Armenian genocide. It also approved a revision to next week’s election ballots and a bill to create a new staff position in the A.S. Committee on Committees.
The three fraternities are collaborating to put on the eighth annual spring festival in Estero Park on April 25 for Isla Vista families. Portions of the group’s budget for the event were not included in Monday’s ASFB meeting due to an error in agenda printouts, A.S. President Miguel Lopez said. Lopez, who is also a member of NAK, brought the funding request to Leg Council’s attention. Though their budget amounted to $6,253, he said a donation of $1,000 would be ideal. The money would go toward carnival events like the inflatable jumper rooms that the festival organizers would like to rent.
“The carnival is for families in I.V., where everything is free,” Lopez said. “There will be jumpers, games, face painting tables, an egg hunt, the whole nine yards. But at this point we would appreciate any contribution or co-sponsorship. We appreciate the budget problems that every student group is feeling.”
The council voted to allocate $455 to the event in addition to the $279 that ASFB had allocated to them on Monday, for a total of $734 given to the I.V. carnival.
Rep-at-large Kristen Ditlevsen said she was uncomfortable donating $1,000 to a program not targeting students because the Spring Quarter ASFB budget of $29,534.74 is already nearly depleted. Off-campus representative Lance Tackett disagreed, saying the event would be a great benefit to students.
“This carnival is not just for families in I.V.; it’s for students to interact with families,” he said. “It’s just as much for students as families, to make sure that students know it’s not just us in I.V.”
The Armenian Student Association’s (ASA) budget totaled $1,821, and ASA member Armen Menechyan said the organization’s request did not make it onto Monday’s ASFB agenda because A.S. lost its paperwork.
“We’re kind of desperate now – we only have $300 in our account,” Menechyan said. “This is a very important event, not only for the Armenian Student Association but for any group worldwide fighting for human rights.”
Although the council gave ASA $1,000, members made phone calls during the meeting to other fund-giving campus entities, such as the Residence Halls Association (RHA), and they asked Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young, who was in the audience, to help ASA find additional money.
On-campus representative Komal Mehta said RHA might give an additional $75 for the week.
Looking ahead at next week’s elections, Leg Council agreed to change a poorly worded section of the Spring A.S. online ballot relating to the A.S. Business Services lock-in fee initiative. The ballot includes brief descriptions of each measure, and members from business services will change the current wording that lists what services will not be available to students without the measure’s passage.
“It was the tone and the content in general that was misleading,” said Don Daves-Rougeaux, A.S. executive director. “I would ask for you to set the tone so that it’s a little bit more positive in nature.”
Finally, a bill was passed to create the position of A.S. accountability director, who will aid in monitoring the conduct of A.S. representatives and appointing A.S. members to boards and committees. The goal of the bill, Tackett said, is to avoid leaving A.S. positions empty if members leave office.
In the trailing minutes where council members reported news from their respective committees, Tackett announced the Queers Gone Wild 2004 dance is coming to UCSB on April 23. He said the recently formed student group, Friendly Undergrad Queers in It Together (FUQIT) is putting on a Mardi Gras-themed dance in the Graduate Student Lounge.