Last night’s Associated Students Senate meeting witnessed heavy student participation with representatives from the Finance Board, The Bottom Line, several campus queer groups and other organizations all asking for support from the Senate and expressing their disappointment with recent Senate decisions.
Last week, Finance Board agreed to allocate $12,000 to TBL for honoraria alone, but the Senate ad-hoc committee reversed their decision on the grounds that, according to A.S. Financial Policy and Procedures, no more than 10 percent of the annual A.S. programs budget can be allocated to an event or project that does not benefit all students. Had the Senate approved Finance Board’s $12,000 allocation, solely honoraria for TBL would have constituted roughly 12 percent of the entire A.S. program’s budget for the year.
Despite these considerations, members of Finance Board and the TBL staff said they felt disrespected.
According to Finance Board Chair Raul Martinez, the Senate was in the wrong in making sure the allocation was in accordance with the A.S. Legal Code — which states that the Senate has “authority over the responsibility for all Associated Students’ revenues and expenditures.”
“We respect you all but we do believe that we have some autonomy as well. The way we see it, it is our job to deliberate financial matters and allocate funds,” Martinez said. “It is not your job to say ‘It should have been a higher number [or] it should have been a lower number.’”
Martinez urged the Senators to attend Finance Board meetings and get to know the members personally, adding that “we are all here for the same reasons: to make the school better.”
Many TBL staff members were equally critical of the Senate’s decision, focusing not on the legality of their request but the difficulty and legitimacy of their craft. Content editor Kelsey Gripenstraw said their product — which began printing weekly last year after several years as a monthly publication — deserves the funding based on the employees’ hard work.
“We’re doing [this] as full- time students. Most of us have part- time jobs. We don’t have a third party company to pass out papers for us; we do it all by ourselves,” Gripenstraw said.
According to layout editor Magali Gauthier, she can only prepare for her career of choice by working for the campus’s sole university-funded newspaper.
“I want to be a photo-journalist and this school doesn’t offer a journalism major,” Gauthier said. “I don’t feel like I should come up here and feel fear about expressing my opinion. … I work really hard and I feel that I should be compensated for that work.”
Senator Kaitlyn Christianson said she urged TBL staff to not take the decision as a personal insult.
“I don’t want you to feel disrespected. It’s not about thinking which [Board, Committee & Commission] is better than the other, or attacking a certain person or group,” Christianson said. “It’s about thinking about my responsibilities as a Senator.”
Other Senators shared her sentiment, explaining that some students simply cannot afford to pay the salaries of their peers.
Queer groups made up another significant presence at the meeting, asking the Senate to embrace the queer communities on campus and to recognize all that has been created within those groups.
Still other speakers came to talk about rallying in support of Proposition 30, upcoming elections for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park board and the Isla Vista Food Cooperative, which is campaigning to raise money in order to buy their current property and remain afloat.
A.S. President Sophia Armen responded positively to the plethora of public forum speakers, thanking the groups for their participation.
“This is your space,” Armen said. “Your point and opinion here are valid and real and we will listen to them.”
As of press time, the Senate had not yet begun deliberating on the number of issues raised during public forum.
There are so many things factually wrong with this article. The author clearly does not understand the Associated Students process. First, finance board made an allocation. Second, the senate opened up the minutes and created an ad hoc committee in order to come up with a recommended number on its own. It was not given any legal authority. The legal code called into question was the so called “10% clause”. On a closer reading of the clause, you will find that it prohibits more than 10% of the unallocated funds on a “single event”. The senate on further deliberation came… Read more »
Obviously the author of this article was wrong to make those mistakes about how AS finance board works, and she needs to have a better understanding of that. However, I don’t think it is fair to criticize that the writer didn’t stay for the whole meeting. After attending the meeting, she has to write the article, submit it, it goes through a few rounds of copy-editing and into layout, and then has to be sufficiently arranged or rearranged in layout to fit the space. I believe that the Nexus has a deadline of around 1:00am it has to meet every… Read more »
Dude, on what planet do you think that this could constitute as a libel case?
I don’t know what’s funnier: The fact that you think A.S. legal code is actual legal code or that A.S. has any real power at all.
Maybe you should learn a little bit more about AS yourself, as well as the real world. Although it would make absolutely no sense to, a libel case would be brought in a standard court of law, not Associated Students. The costs would greatly outweigh the gains, of course, and this is small enough of an issue that it doesn’t matter much. However, the Nexus receives its funding through AS, and is beholden to its rules. If the office of Judicial affairs were to (for some reason) pursue a case against the Nexus, then the Nexus would be left with… Read more »
“In a letter addressed to the council, Goldschen said he vetoed the resolution due to the ‘strong possibility that freezing the Nexus funds is illegal.’
Did you read beyond the first paragraph of that article? If you did, you’d realize that the quotation you provided is entirely out of the context of my point. It being illegal (under AS code) for Leg Council to freeze lock-in fee funds is not equivalent at all to the office of judicial affairs. The office of judicial affairs supersedes Leg Council, the senate, the AS president, and I think even the chancellor. The office of judicial affairs represents the university, and not associated students. The university grants AS some powers to make it look like they control what goes… Read more »
Upon a closer reading of the article, I noticed that it mentioned that freezing the funds would be a violation of state and federal law. I think it lends some credence to your point. I would still be curious, though, to find out exactly what state and federal law(s) it would violate. There isn’t an example provided of a violated law, and the article indicates that while the president thinks there is a “strong possibility” that the leg council was taking illegal action, that the leg council had consulted a “few legal resources” in order to make sure it was… Read more »
I detect a hidden agenda. May be the author of this article thinks this school is not big enough for more than one publication!
It is a well known fact that competition is good for everyone, specially the readers. It improves the content and the quality of all publications, and having mutliple newspapers allows more students to be involved with their passion for writting, editing, photography, story telling, fact finding, … and everything else that makes publishing a labor of love.
Why get in the way of something that benifits the students and the school!?
Really? Reading it, I didn’t get that sense at all, felt like she was just saying what people argued for each side, if anything, I felt like TBL’s case was presented really well. I hope they get to stay around!
I believe they left out the fact that we already voted to not fund TBL, much less TBL honararia. TBL also asked for $22,000 after they were already allocated $5700 and told to go the way of Newsweek and move to online print. Apparently that isn’t good enough for them and I have to pay for it? I’m not buying
You are angry because a newspaper refused to go online at the whim of an AS President who cut their budget by something like over 70%? Jesus, any newspaper would sympathize with TBL’s desire to stay in print.
The senate last year voted to move 90,000 dollars into an unallocated fund. Harrison Weber made a budget proposal in which TBL would receive 5700 for honoraria. That budget was rejected by the senate. TBL then went to finance board and asked for money from the unallocated fund. Finance board then made a recommendation to be voted on in the senate. The senate then opened up the minutes under the pretense of the existence of a “10% clause” which was not read to the fullest extent of the clause. An ad hoc committee with no legal power was created to… Read more »
Just fyi, that “Anonymous” that replied to you was not me, the Anonymous that you replied to.