The Associated Students Finance Board distributed $23,379 to 15 student organizations during last night’s five-hour meeting.
The board fully funded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Santa Barbara Investment Association, Public Health Brigades, Sociology Association, Iaorana Te Otea and Black Student Union’s “Discover Yourself” event while partially funding the Vietnamese Student Association, Asian American Christian Fellowship, West African Student Union, Residence Hall Association, Society for Accessible and Safe Spaces, Model United Nations, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Chabad and BSU’s masquerade ball. Over $121,394 remains in the unallocated Spring Quarter budget.
Akanke, an African American women student support group, requested funding for an outreach program at Santa Barbara High School encouraging female minority students to pursue higher education. However, the board depleted its Student Initiative Outreach Program fund during the last meeting of Winter Quarter.
This prompted a discussion over whether a precedent should be set regarding outreach programs. Some students argued that UCSB student finances should only fund student events and outreach should not be sponsored for the rest of the year. Board member Ahmed Naguib, on the other hand, said funding should be decided on a case-by-case basis, not whether it’s outreach-related.
“Nothing says we can’t fund an outreach event out of unallocated [funds],” Naguib said. “If a group wants to use its one-time exception, then we should be able to fund that group even if they are in SIOP. These kids are gaining leadership skills to apply to a community. Having outreach is important to creating these experiences for students.”
The board therefore considered transferring money from the current unallocated Spring Quarter budget to the SIOP fund in order to finance outreach events for the remainder of the school year. The fund contained $45,000 at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.
A.S. Associate Director of Administration Cindy Lopez said the SIOP fund doesn’t have a maximum limit and the board could add as much money to the account as it sees fit.
“The SIOP fund is not a cap, it is a floor,” Lopez said. “We’re supposed to allocate more than that amount — that’s just the bottom limit.”
The board ultimately tabled Akanke’s outreach program.
Furthermore, University of California Haiti Initiative sought financial support for a benefit concert featuring Haitian artists. However, the group said profits from the event would not be donated to the earthquake-ravaged country.
Finance Board member James Hawkins said concert proceeds should fund infrastructure rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
“Last year, students on campus got together to raise money for Haiti and it was a much more successful and cheap way to fundraise,” Hawkins said. “It’s strange that no money would be going to Haiti from this proposed benefit concert.”
The board decided to table UCHI until it could question the organization further about the concert’s goals.
Aside from SIOP, the sports clubs’ and academic teams’ funds have also been exhausted. Over $43,000 remains in the culture weeks and graduations fund.