During last night’s three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, the Associated Students Finance Board voted to override funding regulations on two separate occasions, while also dispensing $24,325.90 to 10 student groups.
At the meeting, the board used a 2/3-majority vote, as stipulated by A.S. Legal Code, to suspend the rules on both occasions. One instance involved paying the UCSB chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ conference registration fees, and another pertained to funding a portion of a Sigma Nu event that does not take place on campus or in Isla Vista.
In the first case, NORML was granted its exception to the rules after Finance Board agreed to pay the group’s $1,725 in registration fees for a national conference in Los Angeles. Normally, regulations prohibit providing conference fees to non-A.S. entities, but Finance Board rules allow for each group to receive one exception per year. Afterward, the board declined to fund the other costs of NORML’s trip, including hotel and transportation.
NORML member Joseph Michaels said the conference would help the group expand its legalization efforts by providing more information about recreational, industrial and medical uses of marijuana.
“We are trying to accumulate resources to do community outreach,” Michaels said. “Students need to learn what is happening nationally so we can work locally.”
Although many board members expressed reservations about giving A.S. funding to an event that a limited number of students will attend, board member Gloria Schindler said the campus might benefit from the knowledge NORML members gain at the conference.
“I think that the information they could obtain from this conference could affect a huge portion of the population at UCSB,” Schindler said.
After much debate, the board made the second exception of the night, providing funding to the UCSB chapter of the Sigma Nu fraternity for its relay events next week. The majority of the charity events will take place on campus or in Isla Vista, but a bowling night at Zodo’s conflicted with Finance Board regulations as it is outside of campus and Isla Vista.
Additionally, the board debated whether to fund T-shirts for the fundraiser and whether those shirts needed to credit A.S. for the funds. In the end, the board allocated $10,511.50 to cover the events, including the one at Zodo’s, as well as half of the cost of the fraternity’s event T-shirts.
The board also fully funded American Students for Israel with $1,350 to fund a film screening of the film Obsession on Oct. 23 despite the film’s controversial nature and a request from UCSB alumnus Ridah Sabouni, who said the movie demonized Muslims.
“[Obsession] may lead to public hazards and dangers for the Muslims on campus,” Sabouni said.
The film is intended to spark discussion and present an anti-terrorist, not anti-Islamic point of view, said Adam Levine, a third-year political science major speaking on behalf of ASI.
“What I really like about this film is that it states in the beginning that the vast majority of Muslims in the world are non-violent,” Levine said.
A.S. President Stephanie Brower also supported the board’s decision to fund the event and said that an open discussion is an integral point of the university.
Groups such as Hermanos Unidos, Facing Reality, S.C.O.R.E., the Muslim Student Association, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, the Queer Student Union and the Single Student Association also received funds last evening.
Following yesterday’s allocations, the board has $181,674.10 remaining in unallocated funds for Fall Quarter.