At its Monday afternoon meeting, in addition to distributing $3,203 to on-campus organizations, the Associated Students Finance Board passed and then repeatedly debated a $750 spending cap on Spring Quarter allocations.
During various points in the meeting, the board deliberated on the implementation of the cap, which was originally proposed by board chair Aseye Allah, who believed limiting the amount student groups received would help keep the board financially solvent for most of the quarter. Five groups, including the A.S. Student Commission on Racial Equality (SCORE), Reel Loud, the Foreign Affairs Journal, Nikkei Student Union and Raagamala received funding for their events at the meeting, leaving the board with $8,065.05 for the remainder of the quarter.
SCORE, Reel Loud and the Foreign Affairs Journal received the maximum amount of $750, Nikkei Student Union received $653 and Raagamala received $300. Only Raagamala received the full amount it requested.
At the beginning of the meeting, Allah suggested the $750 cap not be used a maximum, but rather as a guideline for distributing funds. Because the board only has $10,893.05 for student groups this spring, it must exercise fiscal restraint, she said.
“It’s a busy quarter and it is important to consider how to allocate funds,” Allah said. “We have to think about the importance of all student groups.”
Although the cap passed with eight in favor, four in opposition and two abstaining, board members debated the cap’s utility later in the meeting when they discussed how much to allocate to SCORE, so that about 50 of its members could attend the Student of Color Conference at UC Irvine April 8-9. SCORE requested $1,500 to cover conference registration fees.
SCORE member Yvonne Tran, a third-year Asian American studies major, said the conference will cost between $6,000 and $7,000. However, she said, it offers “priceless personal development.”
To fully fund SCORE, some board members wanted to bypass the cap they had just approved, arguing that the conference benefits the campus by helping form student leaders. However, others argued that the board’s limited funds required stringent conservation and extra consideration to the impact and purpose of an event.
“There is a very heavy burden placed on A.S. if the attendees don’t have to pay a dime,” Internal Vice President Adam Graff said. “Is it fiscally responsible to spend this money on sending a few students to this conference? I don’t think so.”
In rebuttal, board member Moiz Ali said funding for SCORE should exceed the cap because conference attendees would return to campus better equipped to address the various ethnic issues with which students are faced.
“It’s going to create less ignorance and racism,” Ali said of the conference. “I experienced some racism when I came here, and I want it to end.”
Board member Jake Thorn said the conference would help create strong leaders for UCSB.
“The conference is a good way to grow leaders on this campus,” Thorn said. “People learn from these conferences and it shows. … If I would have known that the cap would be an issue, then I wouldn’t have voted on it.”
Despite argument for overriding the cap, the board approved the maximum funding of $750 for SCORE, with seven members voting in favor, two members opposed and three abstentions.
The board also debated breaking the cap for the Reel Loud Film Festival; the event’s organizers requested $1,000 to aid in funding the $3,000 cost of renting Campbell Hall, but again the board awarded the group the $750 maximum allowed by the cap.