After hearing an annual auditor’s report on its funds, the Associated Students Legislative Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the University of California to change its own finances by pulling investments from companies supporting the Sudanese government.
The auditor’s report showed an overall increase of $102,358 in A.S. revenues from fiscal year 2004 to 2005, making revenues for 2005 a total of $4,728,329, said Jeff Harris, a tax auditor with Nasif, Hicks, Harris & Co.
He said although A.S. spent more money in 2005 than in 2004, the organization managed to increase its investment earnings. According to the auditor’s report, A.S. spent $4,561,700 in 2004 and $4,618,037 in 2005, but increased its net assets from $1,103,081 in 2004 to $1,213,373 in 2005. The net asset increase in 2005 was $110,292, compared to $64,271 in 2004 from the preceding year.
In addition, Harris said the organization’s non-profit status helped keep costs low, as it did not have to pay taxes. He said A.S. can continue its practices and political activism so long as the organization refrains from funding candidates in U.S. elections, otherwise it would lose its exemption from taxes.
Internal Vice President Adam Graff said A.S. has no intention of funding any candidates.
Graff said he attributes the A.S. revenue increase to improved sales made by the A.S. publication services and efficient management of offices such as Business Services.
Also on the subject of university finances, the unanimously passed resolution urges the UC Regents to remove UC investments from companies that fund the Sudanese government. The UC Regents Committee on Investments will meet Nov. 14 to discuss the issue.
Rep-at-Large and author of the resolution Nathan Wood-Wilde said he opposes any UC support of the Sudanese government because of the country’s violent policies.
“There’s evidence the Sudanese government commissions militias that commit genocide,” Wood said. “It’s important we do something and not just stand by.”
Wood said the UC currently invests $66 million in 15 companies that support the Sudanese government. He said he will attempt to speak on the issue at the November UC Regents meeting during the public comment period of the session.
In addition to opposing UC investments, the Leggies unanimously passed a resolution to oppose United States House of Representatives bill 609. If passed, H.R. 609 will amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 to allow state governments to revise HEA program funding, which includes student loan programs, the resolution said.
The council also passed a motion to remove Rep-at-Large Jason Everitt, who was not present at the meeting, from the Council.
Graff said Everitt was removed because of his failure to attend Council meetings.
“Jason has missed now four Leg Council meetings and has missed Finance Board for the last three weeks,” Graff said.