Associated Students Finance Board distributed $84,827.98 among 18 student groups at last night’s three-hour long meeting, amid confusion over the board’s funding policies.
The board fully funded five groups and provided partial allocations to the remaining organizations. Among the various student groups receiving funding were the Friends of the Forest Foundation and two student graduation committees – the Chicano/Latino and Black Graduation Committees.
In addition, Finance Board Chair Nick Szamet reiterated his statements from last week’s meeting about the need to revise the board’s policies in light of its substantially larger budget due to the passage of the Students’ Initiative this past fall. As proof of this need, members spent significant time during the meeting questioning the appropriate financial procedures, such as whether or not it was allowed to allocate money for travel expenses. Szamet said the board will meet next week to review its standards.
“The frustration on everyone’s side has a lot to do with outdated policies and procedures,” Szamet said. “We need to get it done and the make the administration of A.S. and the students happy.”
As for the night’s funding requests, the board allocated the Black Graduation Committee $8,614.22 out of the original $15, 939.52 asked for. The funds will provide refreshments, the site fee and decorations, among other costs.
Joanna Thomas, the organization’s treasurer, said the ceremony provides a special experience to those involved.
“It’s a really big event,” Thomas, a fourth-year psychology and black studies major, said. “It’s more personal and something we all look forward to.”
The board partially funded the request with consent.
As for the other graduation committee, the Chicano/Latino Graduation Committee received $4,670 out of a requested $30,000. The board allocated funds for entertainment, decorations, CSOs and an audio system for the ceremony, which is slated for June 16.
After the meeting, Szamet said the approximately $4,000 difference in allocations for the graduation committees was a result of the two organizations’ respective budgetary requests. For example, the Chicano/Latino Graduation Committee asked for money for gifts, which Finance Board cannot fund.
“The structure of the [Black Graduation Committee] budget lent itself to more money,” Szamet said.
The board allocated $5,800 to the Friends of the Forest Foundation and its documentary film, “Isla Vista in Movement.” The film is set to finish June 2 and premiere at the Chilla Vista festival. Brad Greenbaum, the film’s coordinator, said he hopes to have the thirty-minute documentary shown on UCTV and at freshmen orientation.
“With the documentary, we want to show perspectives of people in I.V.,” Greenbaum, a fourth-year global studies and Spanish major, said. “A lot of people are unaware of all the programs that exist and we want to extend an invitation to students to be involved in social programming and organizations.”
Some members were concerned about how students could become involved in the film, as Finance Board’s policies call for its funding to go toward groups and events that remain open to all students.
“I’m into media,” board member Scarlet Chan said. “But is there a script? Who is making the decisions? I just need to know students are actually involved in making this film.”
After additional discussion, the board funded the group’s requests for film and video editing.