Associated Students President Adam Salgado will talk with cultural club representatives at a meeting Friday about his proposal to form a council that would allow them to deliberate on how to split up funding they receive from Cal State Northridge’s student government.
“We allocate an annual budget to the InterFraternity Council and they vote on how much goes to each fraternity,” Salgado said. “The idea is to do the same with cultural clubs.”
Salgado said the meeting is meant to elaborate on how the council might be structured.
A council is one way to go, but more ideas will be developed before Friday, said A.S.
Senator Igor Kagan. Another idea would be to set up a fund for cultural events, he said.
“It is difficult to give specifics regarding this option because the management of the fund would be determined by budget language and that has yet to be written,” Kagan said.
While ideas and details are still to be worked out, there are already some mixed reactions.
Adam Siegel, program director of the Jewish club Hillel, said, “We’re very supportive of the idea because we’ve had a lot of success with partner programs in the last few years.
“Another goal would be to increase interaction and partnership with clubs,” Siegel added.
American Indian Student Association President Rosemary Avila said her concern is that setting up a separate budget for cultural events could lead to fighting among the clubs.
“That’s kind of the idea,” Avila said. “They’re going to give us a budget and say, ‘You guys go ahead and fight over it.'”
Aliya Choudhery, secretary of the Muslim Student Association, said she heard people talking about it positively while going over her club’s next annual budget.
“MSA members seemed to like the proposition of having a separate budget, from what I heard them saying to each other,” Choudhery said. “It’s really still in the air right now.”
Salgado said it would make more sense for these cultural clubs to decide where the money would best be spent than it would for A.S. to make that decision.
With the council option, clubs would not necessarily receive extra funding they ask for.
For this purpose, they would still have to meet with the finance committee, Kagan said.
Central American United Student Association President Josue Guajan said, “Sometimes, they don’t allocate the extra money that we need for our events, just for a few of them.”
Guajan said he has met with committee members seven times this year for this purpose.
“In our case, events grow every year as we have more Central American students at CSUN trying to know about their cultures and we try to give them that,” Guajan said.
AISA delegates could only receive $3,000 more from A.S. for last month’s pow wow event, not the $6,000 they received last year, Avila said.
These meetings can get contentious, Siegel said, like when the African Student Organization could not convince the committee to fund the annual Africa Week event.
Kagan said this happens occasionally when clubs ask for money, but do not receive it, such as when A.S. could not give M.E.Ch.A. $2,000 for their Dia De Los Muertos event.
“We could not give it to them because of circumstances based on precedent and code,” Kagan said.
Avila said the committee’s reluctance to fund these cultural events shows how important they are to them compared to the amount of funding they provided for Big Show 6.
“Our events are important because they’re not only cultural, but educational,” Avila said.
A.S. Director of Finance Adam Haverstock said the idea of the council is to create autonomy for the clubs and reduce conflicts over money.
The meeting will be in the University Student Union’s Thousand Oaks Room Friday at 5 p.m.