ASU approves final group of Grant for Support applicants

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

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The Associated Student Union’s Grant for Support program is closed for the 2015 fall semester, and its board approved nine out of the initial 19 applicants.

ASU Finance Committee Chairperson Jun Chen said seven applicants that had events or purchases that were not restricted by time constraints would have its application put on hold and will carry over to the next semester.

Chen said the requests that were put on hold are from the Transfer Center, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Veteran Services, La Raza Student Union, the culinary department (two applications) and Jazzanova and Jazzology programs at Contra Costa College.

The ASU Internal Executive Board, however, did approve the final four of five applications for the semester at its meeting on Nov. 20 ASU Vice President of Club Affairs Safi Ward-Davis said.

Ward-Davis said the three applicants that were denied were Per Ankh, Law Academy Club and the counseling department. She said because of a “scheduling conflict” within the counseling department, a representative failed to appear and plea to the board.

Math professor Sherry Sharufa’s plea on behalf of Per Ankh on Nov. 11 to hold a banquet for 18 students in the program and to pay for a faculty retreat was rejected for funding.

She said Per Ankh Academy was denied because the board “felt (Per Ankh’s) reason for funding did not benefit the majority of the student body on campus,” while the Law Academy could not maintain its status as a club due to not having enough students.

Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene said departments and clubs that have not presented to the board receive emails about the status of their Grant for Support application.

Ward-Davis said that the ASU did not spend $7,897 that will go back into Grant for Support allocation budget that is funded by the $5 Student Activity Fee account.

“(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.”

Chen said this semester, the Grant for Support can only approve up to 10 applicants for up to $2,500 each in additional funding for campus events or purchases that are not covered by institutional costs, but would benefit a large portion of students.

“The applicants will not receive their money in the general ledger account (clubs) or as a check (departments) right away,” she said. “It takes 10 days after the approved request is received by the business office for the check to be sent, or for the funds to be transferred into a club’s general ledger.”

The first set of ASU Grant for Support recipients are Jump for Jamaica event, campus-wide tutoring, athletics, drama department and the Student Life office.

Ward-Davis said the final set of applicants who were approved up to $2,500 after presenting their case to the board are;

Library and Learning Resource Center

The Library and Learning Resource Center (LLRC) was approved for $2,347 to be used to purchase 14 additional reserve textbooks and 10 reserve print cards for students.

While the application was approved on Nov. 13 after safeguards were implemented to ensure that textbooks would return damaged and to monitor the print cards, Senior LLRC Assistant Tadelech Yoseph presented to the board on Nov. 4

Yoseph was included in the first group of grant for support applicants, but was told by the board that it needed a system to ensure that they cannot be returned damaged.

COPA

The Community Organizing for Local Action Club was approved for $1,577.

At the ASU meeting on Nov. 11, assistant political science professor Vanna Gonsales  and political science professor Leonard McNeil asked for funding to promote and organize a series of on-campus panels with political leaders, community organizing workshops for students at the beginning of the 2016 spring semester.

“The panel will talk about the voting rights act,” Gonsales said. “We plan to invite California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. The person who trained him advocated to get minorities into the pipeline for major federal justice positions.”

McNeil said the date and the location for the event have not yet been determined.

“Political science is about empowering students — evolving students — and recruiting students to make political issues come alive,” he said. “We will do our best as educators to honor any support the ASU can give.”

HSI-STEM

The Hispanic-Serving Institution and Science Technology Engineering and Math program were granted $2,000 to provide food for students who attend Math Jam from Jan. 19-22.

At the ASU meeting on Nov. 11, HSI STEM staffer Yrsael Condori asked the board for funding to purchase food for regular session workshops that will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and night workshops from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

“We plan to attract 30 to 35 students per session,” Condori said. “There are five in the morning and two at night — so that is roughly 210 students.”

Condori said he received an email from the ASU promptly notifying that it granted his requests after its Executive Board meeting.

Financial aid

The Financial Aid Office was given $2,000 to hold an event in front of the Student Services Center on Feb. 3 to inform students about the process to apply for financial aid.  Instructional assistant Carlos Ramirez presented their reason for funding to the board on Nov. 18.

Two weeks before the meeting Financial Aid Supervisor Monica Rodriguez said, “We are asking for $2,200 to pay for food, props for a luau theme, a DJ and for marketing.”

Rodriguez said not only will the event will have free food and an opportunity drawing, the event provides students the opportunity to meet with financial aid staff and find out how to take advantage of financial aid.

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