During last night’s three and a half hour meeting A.S. Finance Board allotted $19,687 of its Fall Quarter budget to eight student organizations.
The board fully funded Kappa Kappa Gamma, while partially funding Human Rights Group of UCSB, Raagmala, American Students for Israel, Associated Students Womyn’s Commission, Laughology, Students Stopping Rape, Santa Catalina Residence Hall and Environmental Affairs Board.
The first allocation of the evening started a heated discussion about distributing funds to the Human Rights Group of UCSB for its charity banquet. The banquet seeks to promote human rights awareness and a scholarship program. Furthermore, the cost of food was the sticking point for the board. David Schnall, a fourth year global studies major and vice president of the Human Rights Group discussed with the board the importance of food to this event and how food was a major selling point.
“It’s great [for us] to bill it and say ‘get a free dinner and you get to donate your five dollars to the profile of your choice,” Shnall said. “I would hope that people would still come but it’s the way we billed it and I don’t know if people would still come for some cookies and chips.”
As time went on, the board volleyed back and forth about the Finance Board rule of the $500 food cap and using the one time exception for food on this event.
“We have a $500 food cap, and I don’t understand why this event is worth that one time exception,” board member Paige Blatt said.
The other side of the issue was that food was central to this event and the more important issue was supporting the charity event, and the one time exception was warranted.
“This isn’t that much money, we fund events like this all the time,” board member Josue Aparicio said. “We have $100,000 for eight more weeks of school. This is a philanthropic event and this is exactly what we should be spending money on. I think we should fully fund them, but if this board does not want to do this… We shouldn’t take it out on this group because they are one of the first groups to come to us. There are going to be people coming with much bigger requests later on. We need to be a little less tight with our money. Loosen up.”
This sentiment was seconded by board member Ming Chieng, who focused on the importance of supporting charity events with A.S. funds.
“I think that [it is] a great point,” Chieng said. “We don’t fund that much to go to charity and isn’t that kind of the point of UCSB sometimes.”
At the end of the debate the board doled out $1,457 to the Human Rights Group banquet.
Moreover, A.S. Womyn’s Commission’s request for funding for their attendance to the Women of Color Conference in Atlanta, Georgia was discussed. The conference will take place from Oct. 9-10, and the delegation will be attending the conference with the goal of bringing back information to hold a similar conference at UCSB in the spring. The delegation is hoping to unite women from the UC campuses to help educate others and fight for women’s rights. Jasmine Davenport, a second year feminist studies major and the supporting coordinator of A.S. Womyn’s Commission, described the importance of A.S. funding to help subsidize the cost of an event that will be brought back to the UCSB campus in the spring.
“Usually we don’t come to Finance Board, but we are trying to save money and fund another Women of Color Conference of our own in the spring,” Davenport said. “It is costly and we tried to pick leaders. Those who applied were from women’s organizations and they are going to be leaders at our conference so it was best [to send them].”
For Finance Board Vice Chair Stephanie Finch the issue of the delegates already being chosen was an issue.
“I don’t like that it’s for five people who have already been chosen from within the organization,” Finch said. “We [redesigned] the budget last year so that [Boards, Commissions and Committees] would have the money for this kind of thing, but they still come to us for money and that defeats the purpose.”
The board finally allocated $1,439 to A.S. Womyn’s Commission for the Women of Color Conference.