Associated Students senators and directors met Tuesday for the first time since school has been back in session. The representatives were ready to get back to work after their winter break weekend retreat.
The Muslim Student Association is working with the Black Student Union to host Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilysah Shabazz, in “Malcolm X and His Legacy” on Feb. 12. After meeting Shabazz at a political dinner, MSA president Zabie Mansoory, asked her to participate in CSUN’s black history month.
The finance committee recommended $1,200 for this event after hearing the MSA’s proposal. The MSA managed to book Shabazz at a reduced fee of $5,000. In open forum, MSA Vice President Fatima Billoo told the Senate that even with fundraisers, the MSA could not come close to the amount of money needed.
Sen. Igor Kagan amended the finance committee’s recommended amount from $1,200 to $3,000.
“Without the money there was no way to raise the amount we needed, even combined with the BSU,” Billoo said.
In order to raise the rest of the money needed, Billoo says they will go to businesses, friends and family for help.
“There’s really no time to put together an actual fundraiser,” Billoo said when asked how CSUN students can help.
“I think my constituency, all our constituencies, would recognize the benefit of having a speaker like this available to CSUN students,” Kagan said in response to Senator Ty Blake-Holden’s skepticism of such a jump in allocation.
Director of Finance Adam Haverstock said the finance committee’s recommended amount was based on the MSA’s history as a cultural organization.
“The money that is allocated is not based on the event,” he said. “This is the first time that MSA has had a speaker; therefore we do not know how the turnout will be.”
The NAACP was allocated $1,600 for their Black History Month event, the N-Word Forum, which is also scheduled for Feb. 12th.
Yemi Kuku, the NAACP president, mentioned in open forum that on top of the regular prices for guests and speaker fees, the USU fees for room rentals have increased.
Kuku also gave a quick summary of the N-Word Forum, which will include a short documentary starring CSUN students.
After cultural groups spoke out against what they perceived as a lack of sensitivity and respect shown toward cultural events last semester by the A.S. Senate and finance committee, Haverstock said they could look forward to higher allocations.
According to Haverstock’s finance report, A.S. has 70 percent of unallocated funds left to dole out this semester, thanks to excess enrollment.
“Instead of recommendations like $800 to $1,000, you’ll start to see more $1,000 to $1,500 recommendations,” Haverstock told Senate members.
He also said that usually at this point in the school year, there would be 50 percent of unallocated funds left, but because of the added fees from excess enrollment, there is more money for student groups, organizations, individuals and A.S.
President Adam Salgado and Director of Legislative Affairs Steven Vanover both stated plans to continue meeting with other CSU A.S. presidents in the California State Student Association.
According to Salgado, the CSSA is the “voice of (the) students.”
The CSSA and A.S. are weighing whether or not to support the California Faculty Association with their stalled negotiations and possible strike.
Salgado also said the CSSA is working on plans for how to approach legislators if student fees increase by the rumored 10 percent.
The Senate also discussed future A.S. events such as Red Rallies and Homecoming.
A.S. is working with the USU to better promote school spirit and pride. Vice President Sarah Jackson said Red Rallies will be an opportunity for students to get dressed up in CSUN colors, make spirited posters and signs, and support CSUN athletics. She also announced the new concept of Spirit Days, which are scheduled to begin Feb. 14.
A Homecoming date has not been set yet, but Jackson said it is not likely to coincide with a sports game.
Changes are also set for the sand volleyball courts on campus. Salgado announced the USU’s plans to pave over the courts and set up a rock-climbing wall.