In a three-and-a-half-hour meeting last night, Associated Students Finance Board allocated $25,076.79 to eight groups and lost two members to resignation and removal.
As the first order of business, Finance Board Chair Kevin Higuchi accepted the resignation of Richard Rong Pu and announced the removal of Jeremy Pemberton for excessive absences – a move subject to the approval of Legislative Council on Wednesday.
According to Higuchi, Pemberton attended the first meeting of the quarter, but has since fallen out of contact and has missed the past two meetings. The A.S. Legal Code allows board chairs to remove members who miss two or more meetings in a single quarter.
“Jeremy Pemberton has not returned any of my phone calls,” Higuchi said. “As far as I am concerned, he is no longer a member of this board.”
The most controversial allocation of the night was $1,100 to the College Republicans to bring conservative radio host Dennis Prager to campus as part of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.
Cliff Holt, speaking on behalf of the College Republicans, emphasized to the board that this event is not intended to be hateful, but rather aims to encourage discussion of pressing issues.
“The purpose of the event is to add intellectual diversity to campus,” Holt said. “This is definitely not anti-Muslim, it is anti-Islamo-Fascist.”
Faris Shalan, a second-year biology and environmental studies major, said he opposed Prager’s appearance at UCSB due to concerns over the speaker’s views as well as campus safety.
“Bringing Dennis Prager would compromise the safety of Muslims on this campus,” Shalan said. “He has no respect for Muslims in the United States or for gay people.”
Despite these objections, the board granted the full requested amount.
Co-chair Jose Raygoza said the board should appear apolitical and fund events based on preexisting requirements.
“Look at it from a perspective of policies and procedures,” Raygoza said. “If you have a problem with them, I suggest you talk to Leggies [to get them changed].”
Another allocation prompting heavy discussion was Delta Sigma Theta’s Soul Food Dinner. The event, planned for next Thursday as an alternative to pre-Halloween parties, violated a Finance Board rule limiting allocations for food expenses to $500.
However, because the event was food-centered and met other requirements, such as being open to the entire student body, the board granted a one-time exception to the food restriction and allocated the group the full $1,280 requested for food, beverages and utensils, among other things.
Additionally, the board funded the sorority with $275 for a candy apple sale that will take place in the Arbor on Oct. 24.
At the end of their meeting, members sought to clarify the board’s position on “one-time exceptions” in the A.S. Financial Policies and Procedures, which allows each group to receive one exception per year pending a two-thirds-majority vote. The board will hold a closed session at next week’s meeting to reevaluate their interpretation of the rule.