Five-hour A.S. Senate meeting yields reduced Big Show 6 funds

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Debate over funding for Big Show 6 and a packed agenda led to a five-hour Associated Students Senate meeting Tuesday.

The last A.S. meeting of the semester was held in the upstairs meeting room of the Sierra Center due to the meeting’s late addition to the A.S. semester schedule.

At last week’s meeting, Yolie Anguiano, director of A.S. Student Productions and Campus Entertainment, said that senators would encounter an action item asking for money from the unallocated reserves account to help fund Big Show 6, a large-scale concert set to be held toward the end of Spring 2006.

A finance item regarding SPACE did show up on the A.S. agenda at Tuesday’s meeting, but the Finance Committee decided not to allocate any money for Big Show 6. The senate instead recommended that a stipulation restricting SPACE from using funds from its annual budget for Big Show be removed. The removal of the stipulation would allow SPACE to use as much of its annual budget as necessary for Big Show 6.

The major debate over the Finance Committee decision not to allocate funds began after A.S. President Chad Charton temporarily stepped down from his position as president.

The action allowed Charton to become a voting member of the senate and gave him the ability to propose a motion, which he did. Charton made a motion to allocate $40,000 from the unallocated reserves account to SPACE for the purpose of funding Big Show 6 in addition to removing the restriction on its annual budget.

Charton’s initial motion failed and he subsequently made a new motion to allocate $35,000 and to remove the budget restriction.

“There is a need and there are competing interests,” Charton said. “I truly believe in the credibility and the validity of funding the Big Show.”

Despite his endorsement of allocating funds to SPACE, the senators could not agree, and Lower Division I Senator Chante Felix motioned to amend Charton’s motion, asking for an allocation of $5,000.

The concern of senators opposed to allocation of a large sum was based on feelings that it might put the financial requests of other clubs and organizations in jeopardy in the coming spring 2006 semester.

“I, as a student, am willing to give up Big Show 6,” Johnny Tadros, Arts, Media and Communication senator II, said. “We can’t have the best of everything.”

“What we were hoping was to have support from A.S.,” said Marina Terteryan, director of concerts for SPACE. “Big Show 6 cannot happen without the support of the senate.”

Ultimately, the senate did come to a compromise and a motion to allocate $25,000 along with removal of the restriction on the SPACE annual budget was approved.

“I was (in support) in the end because another item under finance was postponed,” senator Felix said. “The amount that Chad was requesting (initially) was ridiculous. The $25,000 wasn’t too much and it wasn’t too little, and it could help SPACE out.”

Despite the allocation of $25,000, SPACE still faces a difficult decision, according to Terteryan.

“Most people don’t realize what it takes to put on a show like this for students, in terms of money and preparation,” Terteryan said.

According to Terteryan, major expenses include paying for security, the stage and clean up for the event.

“$25,000 will not be able to cover most of that expense,” Terteryan said. “We’re forced now to make a decision. We have to sacrifice something. We just have to decide what it will be. Either way, somebody is going to be disappointed.”

A.S. senators also approved a trio of action items that will make voting in campus elections for the spring 2006 and fall 2006 semesters an online event.

A presentation by Nathaniel Stiles, A.S. graduate assistant explained that the organization’s Spring 2006 voting process, which includes the president/vice-president race, will take place online for the first time through a third-party vendor known as eBallot.

The first step in the process will be for A.S. to enter into a one-year contract with eBallot. The one-year period will be somewhat of a trial period, after which the Elections Committee will evaluate the effectiveness of the new process and determine if it will continue. The cost of the eBallot subscription will be $4,500 according to an A.S. report.

Michael Salseda can be reached at michael.salseda@gmail.com.