Associated Students Finance Board had just one student group request funding at its weekly meeting Monday.
Finance Board appropriated $500 to the Student Action Forum on the Middle East at the meeting, bringing its total unallocated budget to $1,031.24 for the remainder of the quarter. It approved a motion to keep A.S. funds that have not been spent by the end of the school year in the board’s budget for next year. The board also voted to recommend that Legislative Council approve a bill that would prohibit A.S.-funded groups from buying sweatshop-produced T-shirts or T-shirts made from nonorganic materials.
Despite allotting money to the group earlier in the quarter, the board approved $500 of the $1,200 the group had requested for its screening of the film “About Baghdad” – which will be followed by a presentation featuring two of the film’s creators. The group said it would use the money to cover the cost of the film.
Senior global studies major Ali Kattan-Wright, the group’s representative at the meeting, said the film aims to give students a look at the war and the ongoing regime change in Iraq from the perspective of the Iraqi people. He also said the event would have to be cancelled if the group was unable to obtain more funding.
“We’re really small and we’re underfunded,” Kattan-Wright said. “If we don’t get money, this isn’t going to happen.”
If Kattan-Wright’s group is able to secure a grant from the Office of Student Life’s alternative social programming fund, he said the film might be shown in either Isla Vista Theater or Embarcadero Hall. Kattan-Wright said he appreciated Finance Board’s contribution to the event.
“That’s huge,” Kattan-Wright said. “That definitely helps. We were expecting like $200, but they really came through for us.”
In preparation for next year, Finance Board voted unanimously to have all money the board has allocated to student groups that has not been spent by the end of the school year be transferred back into the board’s unallocated budget. Board members also voted to request that Legislative Council add Finance Board to the list of organizations whose budgets will be placed into a trustee account so it can “roll over” to next year.
Mary Hunt, the board’s administrative analyst, said there are currently several thousand dollars in funds that have not been used by the student groups that requested them. She said that while the money will be helpful in the face of next year’s budget cuts, she saw no reason why the organizations that received the money should let it go to waste.
“What student groups ought to be doing is coming to Finance Board, getting funding and spending it,” Hunt said.