Council Argues Over Budget, Funding, Detained Students in Iran

With the heat slowly dying down with the setting sun, A.S. Council began its Week 6 meeting. Media orgs gathered around the public seating area to speak their minds regarding the new media funding protocol that would vote on by council members. Numerous media orgs, including the California Review, Mania Magazine, the MQ and the Koala, said that a funding cap of $450 for returning orgs and $200 for new orgs would not be sufficient to cover basic printing and distribution costs.

With a short pause on the issue of media, the Finance Committee brought forth the approval of the 2010-11 S.P.A.C.E.S. budget. A call to table the budget to next week’s meeting was initiated by Warren College Senator Kevin Hoang. His call was collaborated by VP of Finance Andrew Ang, who said the budget should be tabled since numerous fiscal questions were left unanswered by the directors of S.P.A.C.E.S. According to Ang, A.S. Council’s job is to “monitor their [S.P.A.C.E.S.] budget, and has to be approved by us.”

Although A.S. Council has no power to change the total allocation due to it being in place by a referendum, council nonetheless has the authority to review the budget. A.S. President Wafa Ben Hassine brought to council’s attention that the budget had to be passed as soon as possible in order for S.P.A.C.E.S. to effectively put their programs on.

AVP of  Academic Affairs Desiree Prevo, as well as AVP Diversity Affairs Alyssa Peace , emphasized that Council knew the bare minimum regarding the inner workings of S.P.A.C.E.S. programs, and therefore cannot be in a legitimate position to criticize or re-structure the funding given to the specific programs. AVP of Local Affairs Matthew Vu expressed his concern at A.S. Council’s desire to “micromanage their budget without understanding their programs.” Ang reiterated that for council to be fiscally responsible, it must have answers to their questions before approving the budget. After a lengthy discussion, council voted to table the budget until next week.

And with that conclusion to yet another budget discussion, A.S. Council transitioned into the murky waters of media funding. AVP of Student Org Carli Thomas said guidelines had brought a wide rebuke from media orgs on campus, as demonstrated during public input. Council hashed the issue in nearly a two-hour discussion, with councilmembers expressing concern over the lack of funding. Council approved the legislation with minor amendments.

A.S. Council passed a resolution calling for the release of student hostages who were detained in Iran. With a minor amendment to semantics presented by Engineering Senator Adi Singer, council passed the resolution.

Ending on a note of global humanitarianism, the night came to an end.

Stay cool, UCSD.