FAB approves appeal requests totaling over $55,000

By Charlie Mckenna, Staff Writer

The Student Government Association’s Financial Advisory Board unanimously approved two organization appeal requests totaling over $55,000 at their weekly meeting Thursday.

The Emerson Recognition and Achievement Awards submitted a $41,798.87 request that included a $25,564.89 lighting rig to be used for their annual awards as well as WECB’s spring concert.

The remainder of the request featured other aesthetic improvements for the annual show totaling over $15,000. The $41,798.87 request will move to a vote in Joint Session Tuesday as it exceeds $5,000.

The Berkeley Beacon appealed for $15,042 to purchase new camera equipment, a new printer, and a refrigerator for their staff office as well as a Blackmagic Switcher, which would allow for remote live streaming.

“This appeal will allow for critical updates to our fleet of photography equipment and ensure that students from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to learn and grow at Emerson’s most read source for news,” Managing Editor for Operations Dylan Rossiter said in a statement after the meeting. “It is fundamentally important that all of our organizations have access to the critical resources necessary for continuing the college’s rich tradition of evolution through creative expression.”

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The Beacon’s request was unanimously approved by FAB and will also move to a vote in Joint Session Tuesday.

Emerson’s Hip Hop Society also submitted an appeal request Thursday but did not receive a vote after voting members left the meeting due to time constraints. Remaining members had several questions for the Hip Hop Society regarding their appeal, mainly surrounding a lack of firm quotes in their request.

Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple said during the meeting that the lack of supporting evidence in many of the Hip Hop Society’s requests was a major concern.

“We’re getting a lot of broad numbers, not a lot of like, ‘this is how much this costs'” she said.

The organization was appealing for additional financing to fund a hip hop festival to be held in several different locations on campus this semester.

Vice President Ademir Monteiro said the organization’s goals this semester are to release an album and corresponding music videos but that the festival was still a major priority.

“The hip hop festival, we pretty much have a blueprint of what we want to do—now it’s just a matter of reaching out to the folks that we want to have come over,” he said.

Semple said in an interview after the meeting that many organizations that have recently become SGA affiliated, like the Hip Hop Society, have trouble with the budgetary process.

“It’s definitely difficult for newly affiliated orgs to wrap their head around the process,” she said. “It’s especially difficult to train them when we don’t necessarily vote on… how we want to conduct [Annual Budget Reports] until the beginning of the spring semester.”

Semple noted in the interview that she remains confident her proposed Financial Equity Board will be passed by Joint Session in the coming weeks, despite indications Wednesday that the legislation faces an uphill battle.

“We’re voting on it this coming Tuesday,” she said. “We made some adjustments based on a really productive conversation we had [Wednesday].”