The Associated Students Legislative Council discussed at length the option of overruling a Finance Board allocation at last night’s meeting.
The council — discontent with a ruling Finance Board members made this week — considered fully funding a request made by the A.S. Environmental Affairs Board. EAB co-chair Violetta Muselli, a fourth-year environmental studies major, said the organization is seeking additional funding from A.S. to be able to send four more students to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.
“A lot of people have asked what the difference is between eight people and 12 people,” Muselli said. “And I know it sounds obvious, but the difference is four people; four people who will go to the conference and come back to share that information in different ways.”
A debate then ensued over the necessity of the extra funding. Representative-at-Large Jake Elwood said it’s crucial that the council provide financial support for the event because UCSB has always taken a proactive position on environmental issues.
“UCSB has always been at the forefront of environmental affairs,” Elwood said. “This is obviously going to be a historic event.”
Although he agreed that the conference was an important opportunity for environmentally-inclined UCSB students, Representative-at-Large Josue Aparicio said he doubts that sending four more students to the conference would be a boon to EAB.
“We’re not trying to discredit the project,” Aparicio said. “Our question was ‘Will four more people make that much of an impact?'”
However, Off-campus Representative Elizabeth Farrington said the significance of the conference justifies the sizeable allocation necessary to send four more students to Copenhagen.
“EAB has their funding from lock-in fees to pay for things that they do every year, but this doesn’t happen every year,” Farrington said. “This is a rare thing and they need lots of funding.”
After adding stipulations allowing only undergraduate students to receive the funding, prohibiting EAB from requesting more money if airplane ticket prices rise and requiring those attending to write a joint report to either A.S. Finance Board or Legislative Council, council members voted to allocate $5,435 for the conference.