During Wednesday night’s 12-hour Associated Students Senate meeting, Senators approved A.S. budget allocations for the 2013-2014 school year.
Due to a $50,000 cut in the fund for Boards, Committees, and Commissions and Office of Student Life groups, many student organizations received much less than they were originally allotted this year. Senators proved responsive to students who lobbied at the meeting, adhering more closely to requests from student groups who spoke in public forum such as Queer Commission and Womyn’s Commission.
For most allocations, Senators allocated an amount of the funds between the proposed budgets of A.S. Finance Board and the A.S. President. However, the organizations S.C.O.R.E., S.I.R.R.C., Student Lobby and Human Rights Board were given more money than either Finance Board or the President suggested.
Senators also discussed revisions to the A.S. Election Code, as well as the legality of Internal Vice President Mayra Segovia’s interpretation of the legal code at last week’s meeting regarding divestment from companies that profit from the military occupation of Palestine.
Womyn’s Commission Co-Chair Mariam Agazaryan addressed public forum in defense of the organization’s requested allocations. Agazaryan said she was disheartened by the substantial cuts made to all of the Boards, Committees, and Commissions as opposed to other entities in light of the budget restrictions.
“I think it’s a little bit ridiculous that BCCs are bearing the brunt of it,” Agazaryan said. “Senate, you hold a lot of power, but again, the BCCs is where it’s at.”
Queer commission member James Neally said the need for increased LGBTQ education within the UCSB community is critical, especially in regards to the current campus climate.
“Everything that Queer Commission does is very important to all the students here,” Neally said. “Even today there’s problems with people on our campus and a lot of education that needs to be done still.”
Representatives from both Queer Commission and Womyn’s commission pointed towards the annual publication of Herstory! — a magazine that aims to give a voice to underrepresented minorities — as an important budget item.
Representatives from various other organizations also presented in defense of their budget requests during public forum including the Student Commission on Racial Equality, Rally Commission, the Offices of the Student Advocate General and the External Vice President of Statewide Affairs and Take Back the Night.
Senators spent several hours discussing each item on the budget individually, and eventually reached a consensus, which was approved at 6:02 a.m.
During the meeting, Senators also touched on the AFSCME protest of the Regents Meeting, the Elections code, and whether or not Segovia had acted in accordance with the legal code when she decided that 12 votes did not constitute enough of a majority for last week’s divestment resolution to pass. Segovia asserted that although she may have been mistaken in her logic, she had been correct in her interpretation.
A motion was made to officially reconsider the chair’s decision, but the action was voted down.