M.E.Ch.A. gets more funds from A.S.

Yohanna Figueroa

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.) were allocated additional funds for its upcoming youth conference at the Associated Students meeting Feb. 21.

M.E.Ch.A. was given an additional $800 after much debate on how much the club should be funded for its RAZA Youth Conference.

The event is scheduled for this Spring 2006 in the near future.

While the presence of students and leaders from various campus organizations at Tuesday’s Associated Students Senate meeting was impressive, it did little to sway A.S.’ final decision to change funding amounts for events and projects.

Some students made their requests during the open forum portion of the meeting for A.S. to possibly reconsider its decision to allocate funds to the students’ conferences or events.

M.E.Ch.A. was recommended an amount of $300 from A.S.’ unallocated reserves account for its event, which would encourage high school students to attend college. It requested $2,000 in additional funding during open forum, a session in which the public is invited to speak.

“We requested this amount so that we can do a better conference this year,” said Karina Ceja, senior Chicana/o Studies major.

“Last year was $1,500 for transportation only, and most of the money that we did fundraise was for our $1,000 scholarship,” Ceja said. “(For the event) we pay for food, T-shirts, entertainment and location, so we try and fundraise for everything that we know we are not going to get from A.S.”

Some of the students who made requests during open forum for more money were past participants of the RAZA Youth Conference.

“I’ve seen them out there fundraising, so this would not be like giving money away and not seeing any results,” said Selene Salas, Humanities II, Academic Affairs committee member.

“We try and outreach to more schools and they’re farther away, and we probably outreached to about 20 schools last year. And this year we were trying to outreach to more so that’s more money,” said Elizabeth Gutierrez, junior child development and Chicana/o studies major. “We were expecting a bigger number of students to show up this year. “M.E.Ch.A. does outreach to high school students primarily but we’re trying to extend it to junior high as well this year and also possibly elementary next year, so were are trying to make it bigger every year.”

“I guess with the $800 we’ll just do what we did last year,” Ceja said.

A.S. was careful about allocating funds.

“It is the fourth week of the semester and pretty early,” said Juana Zamora, Humanities I, policy committee member. “We should be careful with allocating money and try and save every dollar we do have.”

M.E.Ch.A. has already been given $2,200 in funding from A.S. in the beginning of the semester for all operations. The $800 is supplemental funding for its event and will bring the total to $3000, Ceja said.

“We’re gonna’ make it happen no matter what,” Ceja said.

Other topics discussed in the meeting were an online student election that is promised to potentially increase voter turnout, which is still being discussed, an alternate schedule of classes proposal that is still a high issue for the senate and the Children’s Center student and Ralph’s grocers fundraising program that is still being developed.

Yohanna Figueroa can be reached at city@csun.edu.