Associated Students Finance Board distributed $28,831.42 to 13 student organizations at last night’s four-and-a-half-hour meeting.
Alpha Tau Omega was among the student organizations that sought a substantial sum of money last night. The fraternity asked the board for $21,554 to fund the All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament. The event is open to everyone in the Santa Barbara community and will take place on April 25 at East Beach, Santa Barbara.
Board member Hassan Naveed said it was fiscally irresponsible for the board to grant any organization such a large figure. Naveed also said board members are distributing funds based on personal bias as opposed to A.S. Finance Board policy.
“Wow,” Naveed said. “Are we seriously funding $20,000 plus dollars for this event? There is clearly favoritism on this board. … We’re funding 20 grand to one organization that already has a lot of money without even discussing the matter. A free handout is what it is. … We’re willing to cut one budget, accommodate another. Be considerate to what our policies are.”
Additionally, A.S. President J.P. Primeau said board members should treat this organization as they would any other while taking into account the popularity of this particular event.
“Keep in mind that more students on campus will go to this event than any other event that will be funded all year,” Primeau said. “Should we fully fund this event? Absolutely not. We should cut this budget apart like we do every budget.”
The board decided to table the fraternity for a week in order to further inspect the budget.
The Pi Kappa Alpha allocation request also initiated heavy debate. PIKE requested financial support for its 18th annual Fight Night – a charity boxing event with amateur fighters.
The board was hesitant to grant the fraternity any money from their $27,200 request until the group first raised $6,000. PIKE was granted $20,000 for the same event by A.S. Finance Board last year, but was only able to make $14,000 in profits. They therefore only donated $14,000 to the Say Yes to Kids Foundation – causing them to now be $6,000 in debt to A.S.
A.S. Finance Board policy states that 100 percent of funds dispersed for charity events must be donated to a philanthropic organization.
Board member Pratish Patel said the board had no right to provide the fraternity any funding.
“PIKE broke Finance Board policy,” Patel said. “We know for certain this group broke policy. We were talking about favoritism – this is a perfect example of that.”
PIKE was tabled until they could pay the $6,000 it owed its charity.
Furthermore, Habitat for Humanity received partial funding for their Spring Break trip to New Orleans. Fifteen UCSB students will go to Louisiana to build houses over break. The group’s request was shot down two weeks ago and they returned with a reduced budget this week.
Naveed said he questioned the board’s abilities to make decisions by the book.
“I don’t understand why we’re following the policies to approve funding for some groups and not others,” Naveed said. “There’s some sort of hypocrisy on this court that I don’t appreciate. Ask the board to look at what the policies are.”
However, board member Desi Fairly said the board was allowed to use personal judgment.
“Not even looking at caliber, just considering proportionality, this event is giving something positive back to those in need,” Fairly said. “This board has a level of discretion. That’s why we have brains and not computers at the top of our heads. We can’t just spurt out yes or no answers.”
Habitat for Humanity received $3,001 from Spring Quarter’s budget.