Associated Students unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday that implements additional guidelines for groups seeking financial assistance for their interclub council events.
“We've spent some time continuing to evaluate and re-evaluate as needed what those students and what those student groups need during this virtual semester,” said Asha Nettles, ASI Coordinator, leader and program development.
The resolution will continue to fund virtual events, such as conferences and research opportunities, as long the board has evidence of the virtual event. If an association continues to have any in-person events, ASI cannot finance the event.
Funding also includes speaker fees, gifts, engagement drawings and giveaways.
Nettles explained that before the revision, the policy provided guidelines for funding based on the assumption that in-person events and travel were an option.
“Funding for in-person events and activities whether on campus or off campus would be suspended during this time until we see further clear guidelines from both the university, county and the state,” Nettles said.
ASI will resume financially supporting in-person events, travel and lodging once normal campus operations resume. In a statement from early September, Cal State University Chancellor Timothy White declared that virtual instruction will continue for the spring 2021 semester
Nettles added that one of the challenges that was presented for organizations was that all non-essential travel and lodging has been halted through June 30, 2021, with only campus presidents able to accept exemptions to rule.
Drew Wiley, the leader and program development director, said the guidelines would add a certain amount of control for what is being funded, which could simultaneously minimize the risk of potential coronavirus spread.
“There's the risk management component to that,” Wiley said. “We need to be looking at what it is that we are doing and how we're doing it to make sure that it's effectively mitigating and managing risk, both health, safety, financial, legal, really reputation and public relations as well”
ASI is an auxiliary non-profit organization that is entirely funded by student fees and does not receive funding from state sources.
All students who attend Cal State Fullerton and pay mandatory fees are members of ASI, but the board of directors have the ability to mandate and distribute funds.
Nettles said that clubs will need to be realistic about their funding due to reduced spending opportunities for the budget year.
“Right now, it's been slow for our students to begin feeling comfortable requesting and putting on virtual events,” Nettles said. “It's going to take all of our groups awhile to get up to full speed when it comes to funding.”
Nettles added that prioritizing the health and safety of students meant that wherever ASI places its funds into, they will have the responsibility of that organization’s actions.
“Anywhere that our funding flows out to, we have the responsibility to make sure that we have navigated and managed that risk as much as possible,” Nettles said.