In its opening meeting of the year, Associated Students Finance Board allocated $17,437 of its $517,346 yearly budget.
Finance Board, the financial branch of UCSB’s student government, doles out unallocated money from the A.S. budget to various student groups. According to the Office of the Registrar, students pay about $85 in lock-in fees to A.S. per quarter.
At last night’s meeting, seven groups received student funding. The board fully funded requests by the Office of the External Vice President for Local Affairs, Taiwanese American Student Association and Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, while partially funding A.S. Queer Commission, Theta Nu Kappa, Human Rights Group at UCSB and Omega Psi Phi.
The A.S. Queer Commission’s funding request was one of the hotly debated issues at the three-hour meeting. The committee requested funds to send a delegation of UCSB students to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Equality March – an annual event which promotes the equal protection of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
Queer Programming member Sinead Kennedy, a fourth-year biology major, said the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, and Transgender minority plays a large role on the UCSB campus.
“We are hoping delegates will become leaders in the Queer Community,” Kennedy said. “We want to have a big presence. We have a large Queer Community here on campus [to represent].”
Board member Paige Blatt said she was concerned with the amount of money that was allotted to the delegates for food.
“It’s so much reward,” Blatt said. “It’s so hard because we have so little money. We are looking at $8,000 and the food. We just have to be so [much more careful] this year.”
The board decided to allocate $8,304 to the organization.
Meanwhile, Theta Nu Kappa requested funding for their “Traffic Jam” event. Theta Nu Kappa member Roy Rodriguez said although open to the public, the event is geared toward first-year students who seek an alternative to the typical party scene.
“The event is open to any UCSB students, but our main target is first-year students,” Rodriguez said. “We have gone to the students living in the nine residence halls. This is an alternative to the [Isla Vista] scene. … We want to go big to show first-year students that there are organizations that cater to them.”
However, board member Riley Schenck said the event, because it is alcohol-free and takes place at night, the event qualifies for funding from the Office of Student Life. Schenck suggested the group seek financial aid from OSL instead of A.S.
“I don’t like the fact that they aren’t receiving funding from [UCSB] After Dark,” Schenck said. “This is an After Dark event.”
The board distributed $1,310 to Theta Nu Kappa, partially funding their event.
One of the groups that received full funding last night was the EVPLA office. The organization asked for financial support to cover a mass mailing program and to buy supplies to hand out to students while they are partying in I.V. on Halloween.
According to board member Alejandro Cervantes, Halloween is crucial to the I.V. community.
“Anything that EVPLA can do to keep Halloween going for years to come is a good thing,” Cervantes said.
The EVPLA office is planning a variety of events for the Halloween season. An informational town hall meeting is scheduled for October 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Embarcadero Hall and the office will also be passing out water bottles and food to people roaming the streets Halloween weekend, among other activities.
United Sorority and Fraternity Council was one of the few student groups that didn’t receive any funding. USFC sought money to put on a welcome program on the San Miguel Lawn.
Board member Jason Lopez said he was concerned that contrary to what the organization said, the event was not open to all students.
“I feel like this is a Rush event,” Lopez said. “Even if he says that it is open to everyone, it seems that it will be closed off. I would feel like if all residence halls or all students were there, then it would be better.”
Blatt, on the other hand, said the A.S. Finance Board should fund more events of this nature.
“I feel that this is a welcome event and this is what USFC’s budget should go toward,” Blatt said.
A.S. Finance Board meets every Monday at 4 p.m. in the State Street Room. Allocations must be approved by A.S. Legislative Council, which meets Wednesdays at 5 p.m.