Loose Ends Tied Up In Lengthy Budget Meeting

After several hours of intense discussion, the A.S. Council finally passed the much-debated 2006-07 executive budget, which will decide the amount of funding for all A.S.-related programs next year.

The budget approval, which lived up to its reputation as the longest meeting of the year, reinforced visible splits among councilmembers who favored following precedent and those who sought to set their own standards.Among the most contested items on the budget was the UCSD Cultural Celebration, formerly the Thurgood Marshall College Cultural Celebration.

Supporters argued that the $4,000 proposed allocation would be insufficient to run the event as planned. Beginning with a plea from event coordinators during public input, and lasting through two additional hours of discussion, the amount of the event was increased to $6,350 after cuts were made to various other line items.

Although some of the cuts seemed obviously rational, they were still met with some unexplained opposition. For example, moving $500 from cart maintenance to the celebration aroused dissent, even though, as Interim Revelle College Freshman Senator Rachel Corell pointed out, “We don’t have a fucking cart.”

After a gentle reminder from Vice President Internal Janine Dellomes to temper the obscenity, the debate about whether the cultural celebration was an all-campus event or a Marshall College event continued.

“To say something can be a Marshall event but not a UCSD event is bullhockey,” Commissioner of Student Advocacy Travis Silva said.

Ultimately, some senators questioned whether or not it was fair to take money away from certain events to give it to others.

“Please don’t cut one tradition event for another tradition event just because one thinks they’re better than the other,” Marshall Junior Senator Kyle Samia said.

Many senators questioned the necessity of the A.S. pancake breakfast pioneered by President Harry Khanna, and attempted to move funding elsewhere.

“I think we should look at ourselves and scrutinize how much we are spending before we scrutinize how much our student orgs are spending,” Commissioner of Athletics Kari Gohd said.

As expected, the hot-button issues of Student-Run Television and the Koala soon made an appearance.

Interim Sixth College Freshman Senator Matt Corrales moved to zero-fund the Koala publication during discussion of the media budget. However, the motion was not seconded. Similarly, one senator moved to take the $8,000 allocated to SRTV and put it in general unallocated.

However, the council’s faith in SRTV’s recent restoration ultimately defeated the motion.

One of the most debated and yet unresolved issues — reallocating funding to college councils in favor of campuswide events — is proving to be the hurdle that councilmembers will have to jump over in deciding their policy for the next year.