Associated Students (A.S.) finalized its seven remaining amendments to the 2009-2010 budget plan Tuesday, which will be affecting all clubs and organizations on campus next year, passing one out of seven of the amendments proposed.
The biggest debate was over funds that had been slated for allocation to the Microbiology Students Association, which was proposed to provide $1,200 for off-campus field studies and conferences.
Votes for the amendment were recounted three times, before it eventually failed to pass, after discussion of studies on substances that could potentially be dangerous to bring on campus.
Senator Richard Morgan brought up a point to recall previous funding for sports clubs, as he was advocating support for the sciences as well, ‘As a university, we would lose competitiveness in the sciences, but at the same time gain it in sports.’
Prolonged discussion over the microbiology amendment was unexpected, especially since it was the seventh (31st overall) and final proposal on the plan.
Nicole Umali, current Vice President of A.S., raised the question of whether the funds would be directly related to a class ‘- which was affirmed ‘- since it is a requirement by the university, after conflict of interest was brought up during debate.
Senator John Barry Neilan III, who seconded the initial proposal to the amendment, was one of the members caught off guard by the upheaval of debate, ‘I was surprised. I thought it was clear. It would be a way to recognize the club.’
A change to the amendment was proposed that would bring the total amount of funds allocated down to $400, yet after the final recount the amendment lost by slim margins.
Another amendment on the agenda stirring debate was regarding allocation of $18,200 to the A.S. office. With only two members in favor, the majority who voted rejected the amendment.
Senator Luis Carbajo suggested that members vote down on the amendment, saying ‘How can we do this if clubs are coming to us for more money and we’re allocating more money for ourselves.’
Morgan also had a brief statement regarding the vote, ‘I just think you should vote the way your heart tells you to vote.’
$4,400 that was intended to go to tutoring in math and sciences might end up going elsewhere, since the university decided that A.S. doesn’t need to allocate money towards those efforts. The campus quality fee will provide those funds next year.
The lone proposal that passed Tuesday was $1,300 in funds for Chicanos For Community Medicine.
Other amendments involved decreasing money going to A.S. office and allocating it to unassigned accounts, which could in turn go to other clubs and organizations.
Neilan felt that although the money was indexed for inflation, the 12% increase in stipends and salaries was still too high, ‘The goal was to ultimately keep the funds at the same amounts as last year.’
The board members shared a light moment towards the end of the meeting, after a new sorority for the university, Alpha Nu Kappa, was approved after waiting two hours for the finalization to be met on the agenda.
After President Miguel Segura announced the approval of Alpha Nu Kappa, a group of five of the new sorors quietly arose to celebrate outside, where the cheering could be heard from inside the large meeting room.