Every Wednesday, the Associated Students Federation Forum meets to decide exactly how its immense budget will be spent. That money belongs to the students, yet ASF seems to think that the money is theirs to do with whatever they please.
ASF’s budget comes from the $90 each undergraduate student at the University of La Verne is forced to pay. This money adds up to a budget of more than $100,000 per year.
This year, ASF spent $7,500 to bring human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy Cuomo to the University to speak, yet very little advertising was done. ASF relied on a few posters and an article by the Campus Times to inform students of the speaker. A lack of advertising resulted in a turn-out of about 30 people. Who dropped the ball and why didn’t the executive board step in?
ASF even had a fancy reception in the President’s Dining Room to follow the speech. And who was in attendance, to enjoy the succulent hors d’oeuvres? Well, mainly ASF members, of course. If ASF is going to spend the big bucks on events like these, it needs to make sure that the proper steps are taken to ensure that the event is at least marginally successful. ASF wants to look good to the student body by bringing famous speakers to ULV, but they do not want to put advertising work into the events.
Another event to reference is Music for the Masses. Never has there been music in the quad, let alone masses of people to listen to it. Sure, ASF gave out sandwiches at the event, but did anyone notice that there was a stage set up and no music?
Another indiscretion that needs to be addressed is ASF’s recent decision to allocate $1,000 to Model United Nations, a student club on campus that is raising money to represent the school at an international conference.
The club has over 15 members who are all dedicated to spending their entire spring break at the conference to represent a country. Prior to the event, members write research papers and study all aspects of the country.
MUN is based on academics, and the University of La Verne is an academic institution, presumably a place of higher learning. A thousand dollars is an insignificant amount of money when compared to the $700 that was allocated to five ULV students to travel to Wisconsin in support of the women’s volleyball team.
Those students should not be blamed, in fact, their ingenuity should be applauded. However, ASF should value an academic student club just as much if not more, as a group of eager sports fans. The group of students who went to Wisconsin got approximately $140 each while the MUN students have roughly $66 per person to spend for expenses. Clearly there is a discrepancy that needs to be addressed.
The purpose of ASF is to unite the students, not to tear down their efforts, especially when they can afford to support them with such a huge budget. The last time MUN got $1,000 from ASF was in the 1970s when their budget was much smaller than it is now. Does this make sense?
ASF also needs to pay close attention to its own constitution, which states that no individual or group of individuals can receive ASF funds, they must be a club or organization. Supposedly, the Forum established the Inter-club Organizational Council to further regulate to whom they allocate money to and for what purpose.
Clubs and organizations are required to attend IOC meetings in order to qualify to receive money from ASF. Apparently that rule is not being upheld properly.
If the Forum wishes to abide by its own constitution then members need to work to reform it, because as it stands, they are not abiding by it.