Fresno State’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) allocated $73,000 in aid for student organizations and discussed Asian-American violence during the March 24 senate meeting.
Requests for ASI funding are obtained through budget calls, which is funding that is taken out of the ASI reserves pool. The ASI reserves currently have around $900,000.
Funds given through Budget Calls do not affect the budget of the ASI senate for the following year.
Christina Macias, adjunct professor of education, requested $23,000 for the creation of the SECREd Garden to promote mental health wellness. The garden will be located between the Lab School and Kremen School of Education.
“Indirectly, the space will provide community cohesion, diverse representation of student lived experiences, and campus beautification. These Indirect benefits are known to enhance student well-being, academics, and provide for a green and outdoor space that benefits all,” Macias said.
Macias acknowledged that the funds requested will not cover the entire cost of the construction garden, which is estimated to cost $224,000. Macias reassured ASI that the funds requested, in addition to ongoing community donations, would be enough to initiate construction during the fall 2021 semester.
The SECREd Garden budget call was passed with unanimous approval from the ASI senate.
Shawna Blair and Amy Allen of the department of student involvement requested a total of $50,000 for the funding of both the upcoming Vintage Days 2022 and Homecoming 2021.
Blair noted that with Vintage Days being canceled for two years, the organization is having trouble allocating funds to continue the 45-year long tradition as the event itself was the primary source of income.
“The event has to happen for there to be any funding for the actual event for it to pay its bills other than its sponsorship and us running the event. That’s the only funding we have,” Blair said.
Blair acknowledged that, prior to the pandemic, the Vintage Days organization normally requested $10,000 for club booth fees. However, due to economic strain, they have had to request more this year. Vintage Days on average cost $80,000 to $100,000 to run.
Allen requested $30,000 for the upcoming Homecoming events. The funds, if approved, are to be used for another “Big Show” similar to the T-Pain concert that was held in 2019 or smaller events for fall 2021.
“We want the flexibility to still be able to do that if it is approved and if it is safe to do so. However, if it is not we want to be able to do some small shows with different types of artist, acts, programs, and events,” Allen said.
Blair acknowledged currently there are no definite plans for homecoming as of yet, however, Blair reassured the Senate that homecoming might entail a hybrid experience.
The homecoming committee is currently waiting on the university’s plans for the repopulation of fall 2021 before making any definite decisions for homecoming. Planning for homecoming is slated to begin during the upcoming summer break.
The budget calls for Homecoming and Vintage Days were unanimously approved by the ASI senate.
In light of the recent mass shooting in Georgia, Fresno State Interim President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval reassured Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students that Fresno State is working to ensure the safety of its students.
Jiménez-Sandoval announced the creation of an “active anti-racist” group comprised of faculty members who specialize in theories of race, Cross-Cultural and Gender Center members, Student Affairs, and ASI.
The goal of the group active anti-racist” is to construct a website that discusses anti-racist topics and how to deal with racism on and off-campus.
“It’s about being an anti-racist, and that is very specific. Have definitions that are basic. Deal with real issues that have real consequences such as historical processes,” said Jiménez-Sandoval.
Jiménez-Sandoval encouraged ASI, faculty and students to visit the Asian American Day of Action website where they can find information about how to promote diversity on campus along with the worldwide vigil taking place on March 26th.