Grant needs public eye

ASU Board to allocate student activity fee through vote

By The Advocate, Editorial Board

As the Associated Student Union is undertaking the Grant for Support program, it is especially important its members be held responsible to ensure that the $5 student activity fee, which funds the program, is not wasted by keeping communication clear.
There are 19 departments and clubs who have submitted their applications for the grant and are seeking up to $2,500 each to pay for expenses that are not covered by the college budget.
At the start of every semester, students are charged a $5 student activity fee and a portion of it is funneled into the Grant for Support.
This semester, however, the ASU board can only approve up to 10 requests.
The board will have a discussion with its first set of applicants at its meetings Nov. 4 at 2:15 p.m. in LA-204.
They will not be giving their vote until the follow-up meeting, but The Advocate urges that students, faculty and staff go to these meetings to scrutinize the requests from the different groups.
Former ASU president Antone Agnitsch said the last time Grant For Support was active, it ended in failure.
The program has remained inactive since the spring of 2013 because Agnitsch said the wording was too vague and only a select group of departments were taking advantage of the program.
Under former ASU president Ysrael Condori, who served for the 2013-14 year, the ASU created a $20,000 debt with the college, Business Services Supervisor Nick Dimitri said in the Oct. 1, 2014 issue of The Advocate.
“I talked to Student Life and I talked to (Dean of Student Services Vicki) Ferguson, but it (ASU payment information) never came,” Dimitri said then.
Support grants ought to be given to clubs and departments that seek to make purchases that will benefit a large percent of the student population.
Students’ money should be the last resort for organizations on campus that are seeking extra funding to buy food for events, or materials and resources for students.
The $25,000 reserve that the ASU board will be allocating this semester needs to benefit a majority of the students on campus, but it is going to be difficult considering that its board this year is relatively new, and the requests are many.
Many times this semester the board has been unable to meet a quorum because half of its members attend Middle College High School and often have to leave meetings early to go to class.
Imagine if these students have to leave in the middle of a presentation of one of the applicants for the Grant for Support? They would not have been there to ask questions and really consider if the applicant’s request will benefit a large number of students on campus.
And these ASU board members must ensure that lines of communication between the board and the applicants are clear and informative to avoid another financial mishap.