Associated Students Finance Board doled out $33,773.62 among 13 student groups at last night’s relatively brief two-hour meeting.

During the evening’s meeting, the board allotted full funding to the UCSB Surf Team, Santa Barbara Hillel and Engineers Without Borders, among others. Additionally, members tackled two allocations which typically draw controversy – the All Sorority Volleyball Tournament and Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) Fight Night.

Alpha Tau Omega returned once again to the board to request funding for ASVT, which is slated for April 25. The organization sought $23,054 from Finance Board for the popular East Beach event.

Some board members said the group’s transportation request for private busing was simply too costly, while others argued that it was essential to the event’s existence.

“In defense of the busing, that’s the whole safety issue we’ve been discussing,”
board member Kelsey Fisher said. “Without busing, how is this event going to go on?”

Ultimately, ATO received $10,775 – including busing fees – from Finance Board’s Spring Quarter budget.

The meeting also saw PIKE return to request financial support for its 18th annual Fight Night – a charity boxing event featuring amateur fighters. However, the board has previously been hesitant to grant the group funds as the fraternity has previously defaulted on a matter of A.S. policy.

According to A.S. Finance Board Policies and Procedures, 100 percent of funds dispersed for charity events must be donated to a philanthropic organization, and PIKE came up $6,000 short last year.

“Usually with organizations who don’t meet up with our policy, they don’t get money for a year,” board member Hassan Naveed said.

However, Fisher noted that without funding, the event could not solve its past problems.

“We want to support them and get this event back on its feet,” Fisher said. “We’re here to help the student groups and giving them less money doesn’t help that.”

With a vote of 10 to six, the board approved dispersing $12,100 from the Spring Quarter budget to Fight Night.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese American Student Association asked for $2,388.50 from the board for its Food Festival 2009. The event, set for March 11, posed certain problems in light of Finance Board policy. Groups have a $500 food cap for the year – unless, of course, the board grants them a “one-time exception” that dismisses any board rule.

As TASA plans to have a much larger food-based event in Spring Quarter, the board opted to provide just $500 for culinary items – thus leaving TASA’s next request with the potential to receive the “one-time exception.”

In total, TASA was given $764. Naveed, however, said such an allocation appeared incongruous with the day’s previous allocations.

“We just funded $12,000 and about $11,000,” he said. “We’re cutting this budget down to a really low amount. One of our priorities is to fund events like this… Let’s try to appropriate our values as much as we can.”

However, member Desi Fairly said this was a case of the group making the monetary adjustment itself, asking for the $500 cap in order to seek more funding in the spring.

“I know we have a set of rules, but a tacit rule is to pay attention,” Fairly said. “I think there are certain members of the board who are slowing us down.”

At the end of the meeting, Naveed announced that the TASA representative had told him the event would have to be canceled due to the group’s inability to cover costs.

Next week’s meeting is the last of Winter Quarter, Vice Chair Dan Plotkin said, and the board expects 20 to 30 groups requesting funds.