At last night’s meeting, Associated Students Finance Board approved funding to support bringing Karl Rove to campus and to send an A.S. executive officer to Europe.
During the two-hour meeting, the board dispensed $17,064 to seven student organizations. The board voted to fund Omega Psi Phi and Colleges Against Cancer out of the unallocated fall budget and also to fully fund Men’s Club Soccer and Lambda Theta Alpha from two other fiscal stockpiles that the board controls. Members also voted to partially fund Gamma Zeta Alpha, Active Minds and College Republicans.
A.S. External Vice President for Local Affairs Clay Carlson made a request to reallocate $300 from his office’s special projects fund to help pay for his trip to the international climate summit in Copenhagen next month. Carlson will be using all $700 currently in his travel budget as the executive in charge of local affairs to accompany A.S. Environmental Affairs Board to Denmark.
“I didn’t want to just move the funds around because I think it is not ethical,” Carlson said. “The budget is small for a reason to travel to, say, Goleta or maybe San Francisco, because this is local affairs, but this is a special circumstance. I want to put on a conference here on campus, invite other UCs, invite professors and facilitate dialogue [about environmental issues]. I want to come to [Finance Board] and be as transparent as possible.”
Carlson also stated that his personal interest in the issue could benefit the potential UCSB event, which would be held weeks after the Dec. 7-18 U.N. conference.
“As an involved student I feel like I could bring back information with my own spin on it,” Carlson said. “Then I can share it with the rest of the student body. I see this as the most pressing matter, and I do see this as my budget for the year.”
Initially, the board did not look favorably on Carlson’s request and declared it an improper use of funds.
“That $300 could be spent on campus,” board member Paige Blatt said. “It could be spent on posters for what was learned rather than his trip to Copenhagen.”
After a back-and-forth discussion between Carlson and numerous board members, the board voted to reallocate the funds per his request, ensuring UCSB’s office of the external vice president for local affairs $1,000 of student funds to travel to Copenhagen.
The EVPLA office has a total budget of $36,500.
The UCSB College Republicans were back again this week, seeking money to host a lecture by Karl Rove on campus next quarter. Fundraising chair Ryan McNicholas, a fourth-year political science major, said his organization had already raised significant outside funding — as the board had previously stipulated — to ensure that Rove could appear on campus. The strong support already shown for Rove’s visit, McNicholas said, is exactly why the board should grant them their request of $12,900.
“We have received outside support of $5,000,” McNicholas said. “I did get word from a lot of outside community members and they are waiting to hear from the school and eager to hear about the money we receive. With the $12,900, we would be able to put this event on.”
McNicholas further argued that Rove’s fame would bring many students to the event, independent of their political affiliation.
“I think there is going to be a line out the door, and we are going to have to worry about crowd control,” McNicholas said. “I think that people are going to want to hear him, especially if you disagree with him. It will create an opportunity to ask questions and open up dialogue. There are going to be questions that you don’t usually hear on TV.”
However, some members of the board were hesitant to spend such a large sum on one speaker. Still, the board concluded that the volume of students expected at the event — as well as the potential to stimulate political thought — would be worth the cost.
After the debate, the board allocated $10,000 to College Republicans out of the Winter Quarter budget.