The Associated Students Finance Board doled out $60,000 to student groups during last night’s meeting.

The board allocated $17,482 of special funds to three organizations, as well as $42,518 to 20 other student organizations.

Campus Democrats requested money to send an undergraduate contingent to the California Young Democrats Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center from April 16-18. The event is a statewide convention that brings together California chapters of Democrats to learn new techniques in voter registration and campaign organization.

Ian Blue, a fourth-year political science major and member of Campus Democrats, said his organization’s goal is to bring as many students to the conference as they can secure funding for.

“We would like to get as many students as possible to come,” Blue said. “The application process is still going and available on our Web site.”

Board member Riley Schenck said the board had been unclear on its policy about sending students on conferences prior to this request, and should use this opportunity to take a clear position.

“We’ve gone back and forth on this,” Schenck said. “We funded the Pride March, and Copenhagen obviously, but not different Democrats event, so I think we need to take a real stance. We’ve been kind of wishy-washy.”

The board voted to fully fund the event, allocating Campus Democrats $2,450.

Meanwhile, Black Graduation appeared before the board seeking funding for their annual graduation event. The purpose of Black Graduation is to organize a graduation ceremony which celebrates and culminates the efforts of Black students on the UCSB campus, organizers said.

According to Shardé Davis, a member of Black Graduation, the event was planned for students, by students, in order to create a different graduation environment.

“Black Grad was started through [the Educational Opportunity Program],” Davis, a fourth-year communications and feminist studies double major said. “It’s a cultural graduation that is student planned, from start to finish. It is a lot different from the university graduation. It’s a lot more intimate.”

Board member Bennett Duval, however, said he had doubts about funding a speaker for the event, and had questions about the speaker’s role in the actual graduation ceremony.

“My only concern is with the speaker,” Duval said. “According to [the presenter] the speaker was an MC, and $3,000 is a lot … How effective is a $3,000 MC with student fees? I personally can not validate spending student fees on the speaker.”

Duval’s concerns were seconded by fellow board member James Hawkins, who also questioned the amount allocated for a speaker.
“I understand the desire to have speakers come that are renowned,” Hawkins said. “I just don’t see the point in funding a speaker for that.”
In the end, the board allocated $4,382 out of the cultural week fund toward Black Graduation.

The board voted to fully fund Campus Democrats, Muslim Student Association, Friendly Undergraduate Queers in It Together, Sigma Kappa Chi, Sex and Relationship Peer Health Education Interns, Education Abroad Program, and Phi Alpha Delta and decided to partially fund The Film and Videomakers Co-op, Pink Link Breast Cancer Research Awareness Club, Gamma Zeta Alpha, Chinese Student Association, Hermanas Unidas, Black Graduation, UCSB Mens Club Ultimate Frisbee (Black Tide), Swing and Ballroom Dance Club, The DepArtment, Persian Student Group, The Film Studio, Khmer Student Association, Human Rights Council and Spring Fest.