In the final meeting of the quarter, Associated Students Finance Board allocated $14,187.20 to five groups, leaving $9,048.92 in unallocated funds from the money set aside for Fall Quarter.
In addition to fully funding requests from A.S. Media Relations Committee and the Healthy Eating and Living interns, the board revisited a request from Rec Sports News, which was tabled last week to allow the board time to get more information about the finances of Rec Sports.
After 45 minutes of debate, the board allocated Rec Sports News, a student newsletter about intramural and club sports, the full requested amount despite concerns about accountability in Rec Sports’ already large budget.
The newsletter, which was previously distributed via the U-Mail system, will now also become available in print form. The student editors requested funds from Finance Board in order to pay for the first issue until sponsors are located. Although the newsletter is formally run by Rec Sports, the newsletter staff said the department would not give money to publish in their presentation last week.
Board member Hassan Naveed said he was worried that Rec Sports was not using the additional money it received from Students Initiative to sufficiently fund student services.
“It seems like Finance Board is picking up Rec Cen Sports’ slack,” Naveed said. “I am extremely concerned that the money meant for students in the Rec Cen Sports’ budget is not going to student leadership projects in that department.”
According to A.S. President Stephanie Brower, who visited the Rec Sports administration to discuss its finances, the organization’s total operating costs for this year are estimated at $3.5 million, of which $50,000 is paid by the university and about $650,000 is paid by students through the Students’ Initiative’s $11-per-quarter lock-in fee. The department also receives a quarterly $7 per student from campus fees.
“I fail to see how a new program is supposed to be funded,” Brower said. “If they took the money from Students’ Initiative and split it up evenly between the clubs like they said they would, [those teams] would still be under-funded. Students are not able to participate who are not financially well-off.”
Board member Dan Plotkin called funding the newsletter a “time-sensitive” issue and criticized the board for failing to actively seek out additional information and delaying funding.
“It’s quite insulting to the group,” Plotkin said. “[Last week], 14 of you voted in favor of tabling, so we could go to Rec Cen Sports for more information and none of you did. We’re talking about a newsletter that should be in the hands of students on Dec. 5.”
The board funded the newsletter in a 9-7-1 vote.
The board also allocated funds to I.V. Surfrider to make T-shirts advertising a screening of the surf film “Second to None” on Jan. 21, 2008. The screening, which has a suggested $3 donation, will benefit the Save Naples Campaign, which works for conservation on the Gaviota coast.
I.V. Surfrider co-chair Noah Morales said the film would appeal to the local surf community.
“Surfrider’s membership has increased dramatically this year,” Morales said. “[The film] is something that no other club is really doing – showing extreme sports movies.”
Additionally, the board granted a one-time exception to the Cotillion Dance Team in order to retroactively fund a dance event held last week. The group claimed that several attempts to contact their Finance Board liaison were ignored.