Associated Students Finance Board allocated nearly 60 percent of its budget for Fall Quarter at its Monday night meeting, with A.S. Legislative Council receiving the greatest amount of funds for its “Get Out the Vote” concert.
Board members granted $2,301.65 to student groups, leaving $1,588 for the remaining quarter. Only Miriam Shoval’s request for the return of $35 she paid to run her spring 2004 A.S. campaign bid was denied in a unanimous vote. President Cervin Morris, however, agreed to refund Shoval from his personal finances.
All candidates in A.S. elections must deposit a $35 bond before they are allowed to run. The deposit is returned to candidates regardless of the election outcome, provided they follow all campaign rules. Candidates must pick up their refund by a specified date after the elections; otherwise, it is deposited into the A.S. unallocated fund on July 1.
Finance Board Co-chair Kim Tran said Shoval e-mailed and contacted the A.S. office multiple times to receive her refund, despite having missed the deadline to pick up her check. Morris said he believed it was better for him to personally refund Shoval than to have Finance Board do so.
“It would be the board setting precedent,” Morris said. “If I had the money – like I do happen to have now – I’d give it back to [all who missed the deadline], but I don’t [have the money].”
Morris also said he felt that Shoval’s persistence warranted the decision to refund her deposit.
“She went through a lot to try to get her money back,” he said. “I thought [I would give her the refund] just to resolve the problem and further not have other students come to Finance Board and ask for their money back.”
A 7-6 vote with one board member abstaining gave $400 to Queer Student Union (QSU) and A.S. Queer Commission for their co-sponsored event, “Coming Out Fierce,” which is scheduled for Oct. 11 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Graduate Students Association lounge. The centerpiece of the party will be three doors – one closed, one partially open and one completely open – to represent the different levels of openness homosexuals have about their sexuality, Finance Board member and QSU Co-chair Raymond Meza said.
Nearly half of the board was reluctant to allocate the full $500 that QSU originally requested, citing the dwindling budget available to student groups this quarter, but the board narrowly approved the reduced request of $400.
The Student Coalition on Racial Equality (SCORE) received $901. Members of SCORE are planning to attend the Students of Color Conference, hosted by the University of California Student Association. The approved funds will pay for transportation and housing for the 30 to 35 students going with the group, Meza said.
The conference is Nov. 19-21 at UCLA. Meza said that any student who wishes to attend can fill out an application in the A.S. office.
Leg Council was the last group to request funds for its upcoming “Get Out the Vote” concert on Oct. 16. Off-campus Representative Chaz Whatley requested $2,000 for the event, though she said she was not expecting Finance Board to give that much money, considering the board’s recent financial stresses.
Finance Board allocated $1,000.65 to Leg Council, and Whatley said she was pleasantly surprised the board decided to help fund the event.
“I felt wonderful [because] I got that much,” she said. “Everyone was telling me, ‘[Finance Board’s] only got $3,500 to give out. You’re not going to get it.'”
On-campus Rep Bill Shiebler said the remaining funds for the quarter, which are approximately one-seventh of the funds it had last year, will be given to groups on a first-come, first-serve basis.