During the Associated Students Senate meeting last night, senators voted against funding for the Chinese Student Association upon recommendation from the Finance Board. They also approved the Investment Advisory Committee’s investments and discussed a new plan to make taxi rides more accessible to students with limited funds.
The Chinese Student Association approached the Senate during public forum requesting approximately $3,000 for their upcoming masquerade ball in downtown Santa Barbara, for which they need transportation, decorations and advertising. They would charge participants $30 each, some of which would go back to the organization.
Though Finance Board Chair Raul Martinez was reluctant to speak for Finance Board before an official vote, he said they would be concerned about the fee as the event may be considered a fundraiser.
“If the Senate approved the money, it would need to be a one-time exception,” Martinez said. “We would be concerned about the $30 fee. We can’t [fund] decorations, [and] we don’t fund more than $250 for audio,” he added.
Off-Campus Senator Angela Lau noted the differences between a philanthropic event and a fundraiser.
“They aren’t doing philanthropy, so we can’t fund them,” Lau said. “They are selling tickets which are supposed to go back to funding their event. We don’t fund fundraisers.”
When asked whether CSA had approached other organizations for money, because of their intention to provide an alternative to the Isla Vista party scene, member Angel Chin said they had not been successful.
“It has been a week past [since we asked for money from After Dark] and we haven’t heard anything from them so I’m not sure we are getting anything,” she said. She had not contacted any other organizations.
Lao was also concerned about the location of the event.
“It’s off-campus and we try to keep our funds for on-campus events,” she said. “We only fund events that are for the students.”
Senators voted to approve zero dollars for the CSA. Senator Ashley Koide wanted to clarify that this was not out of spite.
“It seems like it’s really bad that we’re giving zero but it’s just a policy thing,” she said.
After voting against funding the CSA, the Senate voted to approve investments made by the Investment Advisory Committee. The IAC manages the Associated Student’s stock holdings and monitors different companies to decide when to sell and when to invest to make a profit for the student budget. Senators were generally supportive of the IAC’s decisions, but one company’s past legal issues concerned certain members.
Proxy Senator Will Ellis brought up the potential issues with Kansas City Southern as an investment because of their legal past.
“[There was a] race-based discrimination lawsuit filed against KCS,” he said. “It’s cool that we got that money [from that investment], but [the suit] should make us reluctant to invest in that company.”
Senator Alex Choate countered that the suit had been dealt with and was therefore irrelevant.
“Since this issue was resolved, I’d feel comfortable investing in it as long as we make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” she said.
The Senate voted to approve all investments; however, they resolved to keep an eye on KCS in order to prevent association with discriminatory companies.
In addition, External Vice President of Local Affairs Rhandy Siordia proposed an initiative to provide taxicab rides to students who did not have immediate access to appropriate fare. He said they would need to set up a $5,000 account with the Yellow Cab.
“It would be a revolving account,” Siordia said. “Students would give the taxi driver their perm number, address, et cetera and then the cab ride would be paid for with [the Yellow Cab account]. [That money would then be] taken from the student’s BARC account and given back to the Yellow Cab fund.”
In addition to the financial affairs debated in the meeting, Senators passed changes to the Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee’s legal code, the Women’s Committee presented plans to offer regular self-defense classes in the near future and executive officers celebrated the implementation of Proposition 30.