On Wednesday, the Student Finance Board (SFB) fully funded two requests from the College Union Board (CUB) to hold its annual Welcome Back Weekend Concert and to attend the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) conference in February.
CUB was previously allocated $7,500 for its other Welcome Back weekend events in January, but wanted an additional $2,750 to invite the band Mae, a group that Kajal Vora, director of finance for CUB, called “happy punk,” to perform.
“People are so excited about Mae,” Vora said.
SFB passed a motion 10-1-1 to fully fund the request. CUB can now invite Mae to play the Welcome Back Weekend concert. Still, there is no guarantee that Mae will accept this invitation.
The board also passed a motion to allow four CUB members to attend the NACA conference, an opportunity for the attendees to observe regional and national acts such as comedians and musicians.
While prior conference requests have created much controversy among the board, most board members cited this one as the exception.
“This is the one conference where people are going for the campus,” Danielle Grinblat, financial director for SFB, said.
According to Steve Viola, SGA liaison to the SFB, however, the willingness of the board to fully fund this conference without hesitation is “extremely hypocritical.”
Though Viola voted in favor of suspending the bylaws and for the motion to fully fund the conference, he first made a motion for $200, which would be $50 per person for the conference.
The motion failed 1-11-1. Half of the amount requested, or $50 a head, are the two precedents SFB has been setting to fund conference requests.
For example, in a motion passed 6-5-1 just prior to the NACA motion, SFB gave Women’s Volleyball Club $500 of their $3,343 request for their championship tournament. Viola did not see this as fair, as he wanted to pay for the registration fee, more than it would cost to give $50 a head.
“I think that forming a policy for conference requests is not the best idea,” Viola said. “There are a variety of different types of requests that we hear, and I feel that automatically granting $50 a person to the club is ungrounded. We should weigh a request on the merits of the conference and not on a precedent.”
What other members stressed, however, is that most conferences are only valuable to those who attend them.
“(The NACA conference) is not in any way going to benefit (CUB) personally,” Kyle Brownlie, operations director of SFB, said.
While Viola saw value in the NACA conference itself, it is the principle of the conference request policy that he had an issue with.
“I felt that my idea was shot down on the prior request and the precedent was upheld,” Viola said. “But on the NACA request, I felt that we were very hypocritical in granting them full funding since we used a precedent for the prior conference request.”
Nonetheless, according to the majority of the board, NACA is the exception in conference requests and was cited as such long before CUB came to request the money. Other conference requests will adhere to the precedent of half funding or $50 per person.
The NACA request for $982 was finally approved 11-0-1.
“Conferences are a pain,” Julia Pratt, executive director of SFB, said. “We just have to be consistent. We have to be fair.”
SGA requested money to fund Finals Fest (formerly known as the 24-hour Student Center), which will now be held in both the New Library and Brower Student Center.
The board passed a motion 10-0-2 to fully fund the $6,922.50 request.
The Jewish Student Union also requested $325 to host a comedian for its annual Hanukkah party.
The board passed a motion 12-0 to fully fund the request.