The Associated Students Finance Board convened last night for the final time this quarter, doling out over $52,000 between 19 student organizations.
The board fully funded requests by MUJER, Russian Club, Los Ingenieros, El Congreso, SCORE, Pilipino Cultural Night, Surfrider Foundation Isla Vista Chapter, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Women’s Ensemble Theatre, UCSB Volleyball and UCSB Mock Trial. Members also partially funded the Persian Student Group, Kappa Alpha Theta, Swing and Ballroom Dance Club, Stress Management Peers, Zeta Phi Rho, Department of Linguistics, Students Stopping Rape and Vietnamese Student Association.
Alpha Tau Omega returned for the fourth consecutive time yesterday, requesting further funding for their annual All Sorority Volleyball Tournament.
ASVT Committee Chair Darin Bernstein, a third-year environmental studies major, said even though Finance Board partially funded the event last week, more money is needed in order to guarantee that the tournament runs smoothly and generates funds for their philanthropy.
“This event is hands down not a greek event,” Bernstein said. “It has become a signature here at UCSB. This event will happen, but it is in jeopardy because of the lack of funds. … Less funding will also mean that less money will be donated to our kidney cancer foundation. This is an issue close to heart for a lot of our members because we had a brother who died a couple of years ago from kidney cancer.”
Board member Hassan Naveed, on the other hand, said granting a second request and allowing for another “one-time exception” – exemptions allotted to groups once every year when their allocations don’t follow Finance Board policies – would set a precedent that other organizations will use to their advantage.
“It’s another one-time exception, which means it’s a two-time exception,” Naveed said. “I feel like [the board] hasn’t been fiscally responsible in keeping the $10,000 standing policy that I thought was established this year. … I know the speaker said there’s a stigma attached to greek organizations – there’s no stigma. We just need to guard these student funds by any means.”
The board decided against granting the fraternity any additional funding.
Santa Barbara Hillel’s request for $6,414 also prompted heavy debate.
Elie Kurtz, a fourth-year business economics major, sought financial support from the board for a spring break alternative that will send 12 students to Texas to help rebuild a community devastated by Hurricane Ike.
“We wanted a quality experience for everybody so we tried to target a certain demographic,” Kurtz said. “When we hear hurricane, most of us think of Hurricane Katrina. This raises awareness for Hurricane Ike and shows that natural disasters happen all the time.”
Board members originally considered financing the trip because they had funded a similar break for members of Habitat for Humanity. However, board member Tina Samson said that unlike Habitat for Humanity, this organization had a closed application process.
“The Habitat for Humanity thing was a really open process and they reached out to a lot of people,” Samson said. “Twenty people applied for this and they picked 12 people. It’s a very narrow thing.”
Additionally, board member Gloria Schindler[[ok]] said she was torn about the decision, noting that although their selection method was flawed, the trip was for a good cause.
“Even though I don’t think it’s best to base it on what was funded in the past, it is a legitimate trip with a legitimate purpose,” Schindler said. “I feel very conflicted on this, actually. The way they did it though, they said they hand-selected people.”
Hillel received no funding from the board.