Associated Students Finance Board allocated the majority of its Spring Quarter budget at Monday’s meeting, most of which was spent debating and revising the amount of funding given to Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) Fraternity.
Members gave $6,217.30 to 14 groups including PIKE, which requested $2,400 for its annual Fight Night. After the board had finished allocating funding to the groups, board vice chair Kim Tran motioned to revise the $1,300 given to PIKE, which was eventually lowered to $1,001. Some members said the board decreased the allocation because the money could be spent on other events and the fraternity could find money through other fundraising avenues. Some board members also said that Fight Night – which raised over $5,000 last year for charity- – supports sexual discrimination.
Finance Board chair Bill Shiebler said certain members felt a particular line item in the Fight Night budget – which provided limousine service for “ring girls” – violated the board’s financial policies and procedures. The guidelines state that the board cannot fund organizations that practice discrimination. The ring girls, known to dress in revealing clothing, are objectified by the way in which they are portrayed at Fight Night, Shiebler said.
“It was definitely in my personal opinion – and other members on the board echoed it – that having a specific line item in your program for ring girls … was endorsing or supporting [sexual discrimination],” he said. “I don’t think that’s what Finance Board is trying to fund.”
Shiebler said board members also had reservations about funding Fight Night as much as it originally had because other groups with comparable overall budgets – not simply the amount they had requested from Finance Board – received less. The Indian Undergraduate Student Association (INDUS) received $700 for its cultural show, Visions of India, even though their full budget is $14,322, Shiebler said.
According to documents in the Finance Board agenda, PIKE’s overall budget is $17,948.
Black Reign, a hip hop dance organization, was given $1,100 for its Touch of Color fashion show after requesting $2,500. Black Reign received the most amount of money out of groups at Monday’s meeting for its show to be held in Corwin Pavilion. Its total budget, according to documents in Finance Board’s agenda, is $10,150.
On-Campus Rep Justin Pabian, who was a proxy at the meeting, said he seconded the motion to revise PIKE’s budget because he thought members were intending to allocate the remaining $200 in the board’s budget to the fraternity in addition to what they had already given. He said members who believed Fight Night discriminated against women could have specified the money not be used to pay for any “ring girl”-related items.
“If people are against the limo then they just specify in the motion where they want the money to go,” Pabian said. “They could have also specified where they didn’t want the money to go. Some people motioned to give [PIKE] only $200 for security and [nothing more]. I was like, ‘Hell no, that’s not going to work.'”
Pabian said the popularity of previous Fight Nights with students should be reason enough to give the event a larger amount of money than some other groups. Fight Night attracted about 4,200 audience members last year.
“One of the things I look at [when deciding whom to fund] is who’s going to benefit the most from an event,” Pabian said. “If there’s a lot of students going to one event I feel that they should get more money than a group that’s only going to have 16 people show up. To me, it’s the students’ money, and if they’re going to have 5,000 students show up at an event, then [students] would want their money spent on [something like Fight Night].”
Shiebler said funding events should be based on student interest and several other important factors.
“We really need to be thinking about how many students are going to benefit, does it cost money to get in, is it accessible to everyone, have they been planning for it, is it going to be a good event – which I think [Fight Night] falls into a lot of.”
Board members did not save much of the board’s quarterly budget at yesterday’s meeting despite a discussion at last week’s meeting about how it would fund upcoming culture weeks and individualized graduation ceremonies, Shiebler said. Finance Board has traditionally funded these events and in years past has set aside money in its budget for them.
“I felt people went a little back on that [discussion] this week because they didn’t really leave room to fund culture weeks and grads,” Shiebler said.
Besides PIKE and INDUS, the board gave A.S. Student Commission on Racial Equality $650 after it had requested $1,500 for its Facing Race Conference. Carnales in Aztlan requested $400 and was given $200 for its Carnalismo Conference. The MultiCultural Drama Company asked for $1000 and the board allocated $450 for its Endless Climax film screening and performance event. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was also granted $400 for a cultural celebration week.
Indian music club Raagmala received the full amount of its requested $400 that will help fund its Indian classical music concert. La Voz received all $200 of its request for the creation of a newsletter. The Education Outreach Program was also given the $200 it had requested for a video project open to students. The Vietnamese Student Association received the full $200 that it had asked for its culture night.
The Anthropology Student Union requested $3,000 and was granted $200 for its California Undergraduate Anthropology Conference. Joining All Cultures Together, a new student group, was granted $300 after requesting $900 for its White Linen dance. Another new group, the Foreign Affairs Club, was allocated $156.30 after requesting $2,500 to create a published journal.