The Associated Students Senate slightly increased purposed funding for student organizations after several club representatives showed their support for one another at the A.S. Senate meeting Tuesday afternoon.
About 30 students attended the meeting, 18 of whom spoke during the open forum and asked the Senate to support student organizations and increase the funding recommendations made by the A.S. Finance Committee last week. Funding recommendations were being approved for the Women’s Resource and Research Center, Chabad at CSUN, CSUN Panhellenic Council and the American Indian Student Association (AISA) 2007 Pow-Wow event.
Scott Hernandez, chair of the Chicana/o Graduate Students Association (CGSA), was at the A.S. meeting last week seeking funding for an upcoming CGSA event, but came up short and was there to support the student organizations looking for funding this week.
“They cut funding for cultural events,” Hernandez said. “It’s less and less each year.”
Members from MEChA, CGSA, AISA, CSUN Alumni, Chabad, the Women’s Center and a few community members all attended the meeting in support of student organizations and A.S. increasing funding allocations.
“They shouldn’t intimidate us and tell us what our jobs are,” said Sen. Byron Baba, a senior business law major, but said the Senate should take what student organizations say into consideration.
A.S. Sen. Gershion Feit, also a member of Chabad, said after the meeting that student organizations don’t receive the funding they request because “90 percent don’t come to the table” prepared and “show no effort.”
The Senate was voting to approve or amend the recommendations made by the A.S. Finance Committee. After some debate among the senators, the Senate voted to increase the recommendation for the AISA 2007 CSUN Pow Wow from $5,500 to $6,990 from the unallocated reserves account.
CSUN AISA Alumni, Pamela Villasenor attended the meeting in support of the pow wow and said how important it is to the community. She said last year international students attended and it gave them a place to go during the holidays for a sense of family.
During the discussion, Sen. Javier Roman said that he supported the increase because the pow-wow is one of a few events with a lot of involvement.
“A lot of people participate,” said Sen. Aliya Choudhery. “It’s the only (pow wow) in the San Fernando Valley.”
A.S. General Manager David Crandall said AISA was asking for “half of the total cost from A.S.” needed to host the event and that they “give careful and conservative numbers.”
“It’s a great event and well worth it,” said Sen. Alexander Ross.
The Senate voted 17-0 to increase the finance committee’s original recommendation by $300.
A.S. also allocated $9,800 from the A.S. unallocated reserves account to the Women’s Research and Resource Center, specifying $2,500 to be used for supplies, $900 for advertisement, $1,000 for equipment, $600 for telephone expenses, $600 for travel, $200 for postage, $400 for repairs and $3,600 for contracted services.
The recommendation for Chabad was increased as well. Chabad requested money for the upcoming Jewish holidays and the finance committee recommended $2,000 since it was the first year the organization had asked for money for these events. The senators approved to increase funding to $3,900 and didn’t specify allocation of funds.
Baba said they didn’t need to specify how Chabad should spend the money on four separate events. “They have the great information we don’t have (?) they can spend any way they want,” he said.
“They have a lot of good events and are open to everyone,” said Sen. Aleem Kanji.
Feit didn’t participate in discussion and abstained from voting because of his affiliation with the organization, though he did thank A.S. later in announcements. He said that this was the first year they were asking for money because they used to raise all their funding on their own. Chabad has gone from 20 to 80 students attending their weekly Friday dinners and have tripled the events they planned in the past.
The CSUN Panhellenic Council’s request for funding for general sorority events such as Greek Week and recruitment, and for a new Greek Web site, sparked debate among A.S. senators on the issue of whether or not funds should be given directly to chapters on campus or given to the council to distribute.
“Council has the power to distribute funds,” said A.S. Vice President Josh Hansen. “Take the power away from the Council if the individual chapters come in.”
“I invite Greeks to come in and ask for money,” Baba said. He also said he doesn’t think the chapters know they can individually request money.
“Panhellenic is a really good council and I want to give them more money,” said Hansen on his motion to increase funding. A.S. approved the motion 16-0-1 to increase funding from $2,900 to $3,200, with $900 specifically going to the new Web site from the unallocated reserves account.
Constitutions for new student organizations were also approved for the Anthropology Student Association, Business Honors Association, Ceramics Guild and Urban Planning Students.
Feit said A.S. deals with about a $2 million budget and cannot give the requested funds to student organizations because there isn’t enough. “It’d be gone within weeks if we gave what they ask for,” he said. At the beginning of the meeting, Director of Finance Dave Knecht said there was $150,000 left in the unallocated reserves account.
A.S. President Adam Haverstock has been meeting with student organizations to try to create a better relationship with student organizations.
“I think clubs have been more appropriate, courteous, professional and treat senators how they expect senators to treat them,” Haverstock said.
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