After giving away the remaining $200 in its Spring quarter budget Monday afternoon, Associated Students Finance Board members debated A.S. Legislative Council’s actions last week, which many thought violated the autonomy of the board.
The board gave $50 each to the Chinese American Association for its culture show, the UCSB Dance Team for Saturday’s benefit performance and the Raices de Mi Tierra for a cultural show. It also granted the Armenian Organization Sisterhood $20 for an event commemorating the Armenian genocide. The Alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority received $30 for its Phoenix Scholarship Charity Ball. The Indian Undergraduate Student Association (INDUS) was the only group who did not receive funding. The board allocated $700 to INDUS last week, but the group asked Monday for any possible amount of additional funding for its “Visions of India” show.
At last week’s meeting, board members originally allocated $1,300 to Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity’s Fight Night event. But after the PIKE representative left the meeting, the board debated its initial decision, and decreased the fraternity’s grant to $1,001. Several members at last week’s meeting said they disapproved of how the money would be used.
A.S. Leg Council overruled the revision last Wednesday, granting PIKE the $1,300 that Finance Board had initially given them.
During Finance Board’s remark period Monday, members debated whether Leg Council should have infringed upon the board’s autonomy in this instance.
Finance Board Chair Bill Shiebler said Leg Council’s decision was unnecessary and disregarded the expertise of the board.
“I think it’s too bad Leg Council doled out another $299 of our budget,” Shiebler said. “I think Finance Board is the most knowledgeable in financial matters.”
Shiebler also said council members based their decision on the opinions of other council members who either did not attend the meeting or left the meeting early. The board decided to decrease its funding of Fight Night because of its extravagant budget, which included limousines for “ring girls,” and not strictly because the event inadvertently promoted sexual discrimination, he said.
Off-Campus Rep Adam Graff said neither reason, whether it was because of sexual discrimination or an excessive budget, justified the board’s action in lowering PIKE’s funding. Graff said PIKE only asked Finance Board to partially fund its insurance costs and the cost of renting the Thunderdome, but it did not ask for any item the board might find objectionable.
“The justification they gave for changing the funding after the fact was insufficient and illogical,” he said. “Be it sexual discrimination or extravagant budget… neither is sufficient to warrant [the board] taking this action because it’s not germane to the funding of the event.”
Even though the board is out of money for the quarter, members said they would continue to meet for the remainder of the school year to advise student groups about financing events.