Friday, December 13

Student groups respond to fund reductions at USAC meeting

More than 30 student group representatives attended the undergraduate student government meeting Tuesday night in response to a 50 percent reduction in funding allocations.

In the public comment period, the student group leaders urged the council to continue funding student events as effectively as possible. USAC approved the reduction last week after receiving projections of much-lower surplus funds than the year before.

“The way council members are spending money is going to be highly scrutinized to see if you are fiscally responsible with our current funding,” said Mallory Valenzuela, president of Samahang Pilipino.

Council members then discussed ways to more efficiently allocate funds to campus organizations, based on suggestions by the finance committee’s Funding Study Group.

The study group introduced three suggestions for the allocation of contingency funds during a series of meetings last week.

The proposals include placing a limit on the number of times a group may apply to receive funding to bring a notable speaker to campus, and limiting the number of events a group may receive funding for each quarter.

The study group also proposed a cap on the amount of money an organization is eligible to apply for. That amount would be determined by the program’s financial need.

Council members raised concerns that such limits may discourage students from developing beneficial programs.

But Cynthia Jasso, vice chair of the Funding Study Group, said the limits are there to urge students to see other sources of funding in addition to contingency.

“There is a sense that contingency is your sole funding source,” she said. “We need to address through the recommendations how can we mitigate that perception among students.”

The council will vote on the proposed guidelines in their meeting next Tuesday.

In other USAC business, Raquel Saxe, academic affairs commissioner, announced the suspension of the human complex systems minor by the Undergraduate Council of the Academic Senate. The program was cut because of lack of funding to hire lecturers.

An agenda item to vote on a Resolution Against Police Brutality calling on UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to denounce recent incidents at UC Davis and Berkeley was postponed until the next council meeting.

Compiled by Shoshee Jau, Bruin reporter.

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