Council Denies Funding for APSA’s $9K Graduation Banquet

This week’s meeting was held in Price Center East Ballroom in anticipation of the divestment resolution, which, if passed, would have asked the UC system to divest from companies providing the Israeli Defense Forces with military technologies used in attacks on Palestine.

Initially, the public half of the ballroom was about a quarter full. Most of the public slowly filed out after Social Sciences Senator Rena Zuabi announced that the Students for Justice in Palestine and Tritons For Israel worked together to create a joint statement. However, not every member in TFI felt comfortable with the new draft, so the groups will not be pursuing the resolution until next year.

TFI President Lior Abramson apologized to those affected by the change. She said the intention was for the two groups to find a common ground but, in the short time period they had, they didn’t have the means to find it.

The next issue presented came from the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Alliance. APSA Vice President of Finance Thai Do and Social Programming Chair Allan Castaneda asked council to reconsider their request for funding their graduation banquet — which is projected to cost $8,778.71 this year — that has occurred for 24 years, and relied on council funding for the last few.

The location of the venue was a problem because it was off campus and not within a five-mile range of campus, creating liability issues. However, APSA members brought up how council funded other other off campus events.

The biggest problem was that APSA had signed a binding contract with their venue before receiving funding, and the org would still be required to pay the venue full price even if the group could not use it. The vote on whether to fund APSA the full amount was 15-15-2, so it did not pass.

VP of Finance and Resources Andrew Ang and AVP of Student Organizations Carli Thomas gave APSA the option of an underwrite. Ang said that student organizations that fail to make the payment on time make a presentation about the ways they attempted to raise funds and council can choose to forgive the debt.

But Do and Castaneda were hesitant to agree to it without talking to their members first. They were also reluctant because the underwrite would go under one of their members’ names, and that student could be charged the full amount if APSA failed to raise enough money by their deadline; he or she also wouldn’t be allowed to graduate until the payment was received.

Do and Castaneda asked council if they could have more time to discuss the option of an underwrite with their board. Council tabled the decision until next week.

The meeting ended shortly after the discussion while a student played with Campuswide Senator Deyna Robinson’s energetic son in public seating.

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