A debate over sending additional Associated Students representatives to Copenhagen, Denmark for an environmental conference took center stage at last night’s Finance Board meeting.
During the three hour and forty-five minute meeting, board members parceled out $14,103.55 to Laughology, Gamma Zeta Alpha, UCSB American Indian Student Association, Wellness Interns, Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, Delta Delta Delta and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
This December, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will hold discussions on a new international climate bill in Copenhagen. A.S. Environmental Affairs Board was partially funded by the board two weeks ago to send a delegation of UCSB students to the conference, but last night EAB was looking to bring more travelers to Denmark.
EAB co-chair Nick Allen said UCSB students in Copenhagen will be representing the student voice and serving as observers at the conference.
“We really want to reach that number of twelve to this prestigious event,” Allen, a fourth-year environmental studies and business economics double major said. “We are going to be on the ground level affecting change.”
While this conference will be covered extensively in media around the world, Allen also highlighted the strong probability of EAB holding a conference upon their return that would present all the information the delegates learned at the Copenhagen conference to the UCSB community.
“Once we come back we can get sponsored to put on a big conference,” Allen said. “We can have professors who have been in Copenhagen to spread awareness.”
After the presentation, the board debated the value of adding four more delegates to the already partially-funded trip.
“No one on this board does not think that this is an important event,” board member Alexandra Onodera said. “Every event that we fund, every group that comes to us thinks that it is an important event. What we are going back and forth about is whether four people is going to make a difference.”
Other board members agreed with Allen and thought that having a large group was important. The boosted presence, board member Janelle Mungo said, would reinforce UCSB’s commitment to the environment.
“Just having those numbers [is important],” Mungo said. “When you have those people and power behind you, it would have a huge impact on what they are trying to do there. It does make a huge difference.”
After much deliberation, the board finally decided not to add to the funding EAB had already received last week from Finance Board.
Later, the board heard a funding request from Laughology. The university comedy group provides alternative stand-up comedy shows weekly, for free, showcasing local and national comedy talent. Laughology president Jeffrey Urrea came to Finance Board to petition for funds for two more shows this quarter and to show that they had looked for funding in other locations.
“I am getting calls from LA comedians all the time because they hear the crowd is so great,” Urrea, a fourth-year film & media studies major said. “We have had [many] shows and we have never had a problem. We have never had a problem with CSOs or the audience.”
The board decided to fully fund Laughology’s request of $2,332.88.
“I feel like this is great,” board member Marcus Rochelle said. “I fully stressed to them to go to lock-in funds and they did. It would not be okay to not fund them when we told them we would [after they found alternative funding].”