ASU grants first set of support funding

Board listens to six applicant petitions, approves only five

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

The ASU Executive Board unanimously approved funding for five Grant for Support applicants on Friday after listening to most presentations on Wednesday.  

ASU Internal Finance Committee member Safi Ward-Davis said, out of the six applicants, only Senior Library and Learning Resource Center Assistant Tadalech Yoseph’s request for $2,500 to order 14 reserve textbooks and 10 reserve print cards for students at Contra Costa College has not yet been approved.

“(The ASU) has not denied (Yoseph’s) application. The board agrees that it is necessary for students to have access to these resources because financial aid may not arrive on time,” Ward-Davis said. “But what we need to be guaranteed before we can stamp our approval is that the (LLRC) has a plan of action to monitor who is checking out these textbooks, so they do not keep coming back damaged.

“(The ASU) is not picking favorites,” she said. “We must scrutinize every aspect of each application — we have to find a way to curb excess costs because the money for the Grant (for Support) is coming out of the ($5) student activity fee that comes out of students’ pockets every semester.”

After the ASU Internal Executive Board meeting on Friday in AA-109, Ward-Davis said departments that have been approved for additional funding of up to $2,500 by an eight-member voting Board are:

Athletic department

The athletic department was approved for $2,375. Men’s soccer coach Nikki Ferguson, speaking on behalf of Athletic Director John Wade, asked the board to help support live online streaming of sporting events on campus through Bay Area TV sports with $2,475 in Grant for Support funds.

“We are trying to create advertising monies that will lead local vendors to buy into our athletic programs and, at some point, the department will be able to cover its own costs,” Ferguson said. “All eight sport programs would be streamed online at some point.”

Drama department

The drama department’s request was approved for $2,000. Drama adjunct professor Linda Whitmore requested additional funding of $2,450 to pay for stage props, promotional fliers and recording of her “Hell or Highwater” special production on Dec. 4 in the Knox Center. 

Whitmore said she plans to have two free showings, one at 10:30 a.m. for 300 students from Helms Middle School, and another at 7 p.m. open to CCC students and people in the community.

She said she and her drama students will ask for $1 donations at the door. These proceeds will be given to Habitat for Humanity, an organization that works to aid the relief efforts in areas still devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Ward-Davis said the board reduced the initial requested sum because it did not agree that Whitmore needed an extra $150 to pay for advertising and $300 for an undisclosed reason.

“(Whitmore) did not provide the invoices to give a reason for that portion,” she said.   

Campus tutoring

Campus tutoring was granted $1,550. Tutoring Office Assistant Jordan Miller and Retention Specialist Tracey Nunley presented to the Board, asking for the full amount of $2,500 to pay for healthy food, promotional fliers for “pop-up” tutoring events and to fund student workers’ salaries.

Miller said “pop-up” tutoring is aimed to help students struggling in Center for Science Excellence or STEM classes, as well as in basic English and math classes. 

He said tutoring takes place in three alternating locations on campus — at the Liberal Arts Building Patio, behind the Health and Human Services Building and at the LLRC.

Ward-Davis said the Finance Committee recommended that the board deduct from its request because they were asking to pay for three student salaries in total — two tutors and a front desk student worker, and $950 for healthy food and water.

She said that they brought that amount down to $500 and also deducted the cost for a front desk worker and marketing costs.

“The board would rather pay for ‘pop-up’ tutors around campus than pay a front desk person,” Ward-Davis said.

Student Life Office

Its application was approved for $2,000. Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene’s request to provide a total of 30 food and gas cards, 15 per, loaded with $25 to select students on campus. Greene said DSPS, EOPS and the counseling department have agreed to develop a rubric to determine the requirements and process to receiving this financial assistance by the spring semester.

She said she is also working on developing an emotional intelligence workshop for about 20 students on Dec. 4 that would require about $1,000 to pay for training.

Because Greene had already contacted EOPS Program Manager George Mills, Disability Support Services Manager Yasuko Abe, and EOPS/CARE Coordinator Najia Azizi, Ward-Davis said she was the only applicant so far that has been approved for the exact amount stated in the application.

Jump for Jamaica

Ward-Davis said the first application that was approved granted $1,230 to adjunct sociology professor Majeedah Rahman’s Jump for Jamaica event held on Oct. 15.

At the ASU meeting on Sept. 30, Rahman asked the Board for $2,500 in funding to pay for live music and food at the event that was held at the Student Services Center Patio.

“(Rahman) presented earlier than the other applicants because her event was coming up so soon,” Ward-Davis said. “The whole board knew what the event was and thought it was beneficial to students, but we needed her to bring back invoices before the (Grant for Support submittal) deadline.”

Counting pennies for pleas

ASU Finance Committee Chairperson Jun Chen said the board received 19 applications from Oct. 2-19 from various departments and clubs.

Representatives from the counseling department, Law Academy, Community Organizing Political Action Club, Per Ankh Academy and Yoseph from the LLRC will present their requests at the board’s meeting today in LA-204 at 2:15 p.m. 

Chen said, like the first round of applicants, this group will hear back from the board within 10 days of their presentations via email, explicitly listing how much they were awarded, and why, if any, funds were deducted from their asking amount.

Greene said, “If they ask for the full $2,500 it does not mean they are guaranteed to get that much. Any applicant has to bring proof that the ASU is not the first place they came to ask for more funding.”

Ward-Davis said that so far this semester, the ASU has given $9,155 out of the $25,000 available in its Grant for Support program budget this semester.

Chen said this semester, the Grant for Support will only be awarded to 10 applicants for up to $2,500 in additional funding for campus events or purchases not covered by institutional costs.

She said applications are reviewed based on the time constraints of the event or purchase, and not by the date they were turned into the Student Life Office.

Chen said any applicants who have events slated for next semester but already turned in an application will not have to reapply for the Grant for Support, if it reopens next spring.

“These applicants will have first priority for next semester.  When we open the new date for submittal, they will not have to reapply.” She said.

“It is the only fair way to manage the program if they completed the paperwork and got it in before the deadline closed.”

Ward-Davis said the board, with recommendations from the Finance Committee, including part-time Director of Training and Recruitment Luanna Waters, makes the decision as to how much the board will allocate.

“The board looks at each amount and asks questions to see if prices could be reduced.” Ward-Davis said. “The ASU likes to save money, especially if it comes out of student fees.”