It is far too easy to become desensitized to the politics, news and injustices at CSUN when one works at the Daily Sundial. I hear of so many frustrations and secrets – both realistic and exaggerated – within the inner workings of the school on a daily basis, and after a while my mind tends to tune some parts out, convincing myself that what was just revealed is not so bad, really.
This semester, however, much has been written about the Associated Students that has brought me to a boiling point, with information released Oct. 26 marking the time when my frustrations could no longer go unvoiced.
Due to finance committee rules, M.E.Ch.A. president Karina Ceja had to go to A.S. President Adam Salgado directly to even have her club’s event, Dia de Los Muertos, briefly mentioned at tomorrow’s A.S. Senate meeting.
At the finance committee meeting a week ago, Director of Finance Adam Haverstock refused to let M.E.Ch.A.’s request for extra funding for the event go to the Senate. Yes, he can do this. A finance committee member proposed that the committee suggest a funds request of just $1 – as a starting point that could, at the very least, allow M.E.Ch.A. to be heard at the Senate meeting. A.S. General Manager David Crandall seconded this, and Haverstock shut it down. He later told the Sundial that the finance committee should not have to honor “frivolous” requests, or bring such proposals to the Senate.
And here is the thing: Haverstock is right. The finance committee should not bother to bring frivolous requests to the A.S. Senate. Though surprisingly, this does not apply to proposals that would benefit A.S. members themselves; earlier this semester, Haverstock evidently thought that a funds proposal of $6,600 to pay for polo shirts for A.S. staff (a request that was quickly passed by the Senate) was utterly devoid of frivolity.
Maybe Haverstock and I just have different ideas of what constitutes a “frivolous” request, though.
The day after the finance committee ruling, students spoke out at the A.S. meeting against Haverstock, and rightfully so. I have no doubt that his job is a hard one, and I don’t think he would intentionally ruin clubs’ plans; he has pointed out several times now that each club was already allocated money in the annual budget for their events. I understand that Haverstock likely thinks that he is doing the right thing for the university, and if he was taking the right actions there would be no problem at all here. However, his cavalier attitude and what seems like a recent penchant to reduce cultural clubs’ event funding speaks volumes of an agenda that should be non-existent in a democratic, for-the-students government.
I am not sure whether or not changes will be made if students become involved, but here’s a thought: go to the meetings. The finance committee meets today at 2 p.m. in the conference room in the A.S. office. The A.S. Senate will hold its meeting tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union, and its Open Forum portion is at the very beginning of the meeting. Get involved, speak up – and remember to vote on the fee referendums next week.
If you’re afraid of speaking up, don’t be. All we have to fear is more money going to polo shirts for A.S. staff and senators – and the idea of such a frivolous request should be incentive alone to vote and speak out.