The Associated Students Finance Board allocated $60,669.46 to 20 groups at Monday night’s meeting.
Only $10,568.55 remains in the board’s unallocated budget for Spring Quarter. The board began the night with $42,104.77 available but was able to distribute more money by drawing from the dedicated accounts for outreach and culture weeks.
One of the first groups to request funding was Project Eye to Eye, an outreach program for students with disabilities. The group had originally requested funds in January, but had been tabled by the board. On Jan. 6, ’09, however, the Daily Nexus incorrectly printed that the group had been allotted full funding. After not receiving the funds, the group returned Monday to request money.
“I actually emailed [Project Eye to Eye] immediately on Jan. 12,” board member Tina Sampson said. “I told them that we tabled them and for them to come back. And I’m assuming they never read my e-mail, they just read the Nexus.”
The board voted to provide full funding to the organization.
Meanwhile, Akanke, an African American women student support group, requested $7,962.09 to throw a banquet in appreciation of men. Their request was complicated as last week the Black Pioneers Renaissance Organization had asked for, and received, a similar amount to throw a banquet for the appreciation of women.
According to Morgan Twiggs-Brandon, an Akanke member and third-year English and black studies major, the two banquets are meant to be reciprocal. Last year, half the members of Akanke and BPRO attended each other’s dinners, she said.
“It’s actually a competition between the two of us to see who can throw the best banquet,” Twiggs said.
Some board members were reluctant to fund the group, considering the relationship between BPRO and Akanke.
“The guests are from the other group, and they’re just throwing dinners for each other,” board member Darshan Grover said. “We were kicking up a fuss about giving $12,000 to Fight Night. We have to consider that we’re giving out one time exceptions for food here, and [the board’s] fund, it’s not unlimited.”
Additionally, board member Josue Aparicio noted that the Latino Business Association had been denied funding the week before, despite putting on an educational and professional event.
“Last week, Latino Business Association came to us for $4,000 for food, and people said they were asking for too much money,” Aparicio said. “We didn’t fund LBA for what they wanted to do … and now we’re going to fund [Akanke] six grand for their luau theme?”
After much discussion, the board tabled the group until next week’s meeting, and some members also questioned the validity of the prior BPRO allocation.
“Would it be possible to take money back from BPRO?” board member Jackie Lee said.
Finance Board adjourned with only 11 of 18 members present. Five of those in attendance were proxies for permanent board members. Absenteeism nearly caused the board to lose its quorum – the minimum number of members required for the board to function – when two members left the meeting at 6:30 p.m.