Associated Students Finance Board made every penny of its spring budget count at its meeting Monday, allocating its smallest sum this quarter to student organizations.
The board met with three groups and appropriated a total of $850 at the meeting, leaving $1,531.24 in its budget for the remainder of the year. Of the three groups, the women’s lacrosse team was the only student organization denied funding. Finance Board Chair Fernando Ramirez also announced the board’s second consecutive accounting error, which will cut its $400 operating budget nearly in half.
Lauren Hertan, a third-year biopsychology major who represented the women’s lacrosse team at the meeting, said the group was requesting $450 to help fund its first trip to the national tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. She said participating in the event would cost the team a total of approximately $10,000, which far exceeds the amount the school contributes to the team.
“We have no money in our budget to go to nationals,” Hertan said.
Several Finance Board members raised objections to Hertan’s request, saying the board traditionally does not fund trips for non-A.S. organizations. Ramirez said it would be possible to make a one-time exception for the lacrosse team, but A.S. accountant Mary Hunt said board members should be careful about setting such a precedent – especially for a sports team.
Rep-At-Large Kristen Ditlevsen motioned to grant the group’s request in full, but no one seconded it and the motion died.
Finance Board Vice Chair Patrice Rooks then motioned to allocate no money to the group, and the vote ended in a 3-3 tie, with six members abstaining. As the chair, Ramirez voted to break the tie in favor of Rooks’ motion, denying the team any funding.
“Whatever we vote on, it will set a precedent,” Ramirez said. “[The Finance Board code] is pretty clear about what we can and can’t fund.”
Hertan expressed disappointment about being turned down, but said the lacrosse team would be going to nationals with or without funding from Finance Board.
“We’ll go no matter what,” Hertan said. “It’s just a question of how much more fund raising we have to do. If worst comes to worst, the girls will just have to pay the difference.”
Hermanos Unidos received the $350 it had requested to help fund honoraria for the four comedians that are scheduled to appear at the comedy night that will take place May 13 in I.V. Theater.
Representatives from the Black Graduation Committee attended the board meeting to request money for the organization’s upcoming alternative graduation ceremony, which they said is expected to accommodate about 40 people. The group was allotted $500, the standard amount Finance Board sets aside for a cultural graduation.
A.S. External Vice President for Local Affairs Logan Green also attended the meeting to inform the board of a bill that had been discussed at A.S. Legislative Council that would prohibit any A.S. funds from being allocated to student groups that purchase sweatshop-produced T-shirts. Green asked the board to vote to endorse the bill, which will be discussed further at Wednesday’s Leg Council meeting.
The board agreed to add Green’s proposal to the agenda, but after some discussion the members voted to take no position on the bill until they had more information and time to think it over.