The Associated Students Finance and Business Committee denied funding requests from several UC Santa Barbara a cappella groups for Winter Quarter 2024. The chair cited having insufficient funds.

The Associated Students Finance & Business Committee (A.S. F&B) distributes funds to Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs) each quarter from a fixed budget paid for by student fees.

Campus a cappella groups routinely request money from A.S. F&B to finance quarterly concerts, using the funds for event space rentals, equipment and sound engineering. 

Groups that were denied F&B funding this quarter include womens’ a cappella group VocalMotion and gender-inclusive group InterVals, among others.

Third-year sociology major and A.S. F&B Chair Yael Berukhim said that the committee has less money to distribute to RCOs this quarter compared to the past few years, where money has rolled over from the quarters directly following the COVID-19 pandemic. Berukhim added that F&B has received an increase in funding requests for this quarter. 

“We had a lot more money to hand out in the past few years because of COVID, not many events were going on and then that money just kept rolling over that span,” Berukhim said. “This quarter, we’re seeing just kind of an unprecedented amount of requests.”

“The bulk of the committee’s decision was just like, we funded you guys last quarter this full amount, and we don’t have as much flexibility because we’re getting so many more requests this quarter. We’re gonna have to prioritize other events,” she continued.

When considering a funding request from an RCO, F&B first evaluates whether or not the request violates any A.S. financial policies. If the request adheres to A.S. policy, the committee then asks the designated RCO representative about what the funds will be used for before assessing whether or not the request is a “good use of student fees,” according to Berukhim.

“The a cappella groups request $4,500 a quarter — it’s like five or six a cappella groups — and the committee didn’t think it was the best use of student fees to drop so much of our budget on this a cappella concert this quarter,” Berukhim said. “As much as I would love to fund them if we had an unlimited amount of money, there are so many other groups on campus that are doing awesome events.”

According to third-year earth science major and VocalMotion Vice President Angela Larson, this is the first time in the past few years that campus a cappella groups have not received funding from F&B.

“We were just confused because it had never happened before,” Larson said. “We’ve always submitted all of our funding requests with enough notice, and we always submit our requisitions and we make sure everything gets done.”

Larson said that VocalMotion submitted its winter quarter funding request during Week 3, and while their requests are normally approved within a week, the group did not find out until Week 6 that their requests were denied.

InterVals Music Director and third-year feminist studies major Wiz Saint-Jean said InterVals submitted its F&B funding request around the same time, and also did not hear back until Week 6.

“The problem wasn’t that they didn’t want to fund us, it was more just that they waited. It seemed like they kind of ignored our funding request, or maybe it slipped through the cracks or something,” Larson said. “It left us scrambling for funding a week and a half before our concert.”

Saint-Jean expressed her disappointment with the committee’s decision to deny funding for campus a cappella groups.

“F&B funding and generally our school is funded by the tuition that the students pay, and so it’s disappointing, I guess, to not see that money coming back to us this way, to help us put on an event for our community that is free for everyone to come watch,” she said.

Larson said a cappella concerts are integral to campus life — not only for a cappella groups, but for the UCSB student body.

“A lot of people also love a cappella, it’s just a fun thing. It’s fun to be like, ‘hey, let’s go to a college a cappella concert,’” Larson said.  “Myself and so many other people find these concerts to be so important.”

Larson said VocalMotion has individually raised enough funds to hold its quarterly concert on Feb. 24, but in a limited capacity. The group will use area microphones instead of their usual handheld microphones, and they will not use their usual sound engineer, who VocalMotion usually pays through their F&B funding. 

InterVals also plans to hold its quarterly concert on March 2, potentially without microphones, according to InterVals president Sana Vijaynathan. 

Larson and Saint-Jean said that VocalMotion and InterVals are currently looking at options for funding their future concerts.

A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Feb. 22, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Alex Levin
Alex Levin (he/him) is the University News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Levin was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. He can be reached at