The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Inter-Club Council grapples with club budget approval process

Robotics Club Co-President Sebastian Araque, 24, presents the Robotics Club budget request at the Inter-Club Council cabinet meeting on Wednesday, March 6. (Ethan Cohen | The Union)

Two clubs out of 16 did not get funding from the Inter-Club Council during a cabinet meeting where El Camino College club representatives presented a budget request for the spring semester.

The Inter-Club Council (ICC) denied the request of the Robotics Club on Wednesday, March 6. It referred the Boxing Club’s request to the college. This means the Boxing Club could get its funding directly from the college.

“It’s a lot of bureaucracy and sometimes it is frustrating,” Co-president of the Robotics Club Sebastian Araque, 24, said.

The 16 clubs requested $33,269 from the ICC, according to the cabinet meeting agenda. However, the council only had $18,786 to give to clubs at the beginning of the meeting, ICC Director of Finance Tala Ashkar said.

By the end of the meeting, the ICC had allocated $15,700 to five of the first six clubs that presented a budget request.

The total amount from the Associated Students Organization’s approved budget which the ICC could distribute to clubs was around $3,086 by approximately 1 p.m. on March 6.

Ashkar said the ICC would have a cabinet meeting and vote on the rest of the items and try their best to allocate the $3,086 well.

“If a club is requesting for things they might already have the funds for or something that’s not super necessary or if they’re requesting food because that can be purchased later in the semester it doesn’t have to be purchased now,” Ashkar said.

Araque was disappointed with the denial of the club’s budget request for a new 3D printer and the bureaucracy surrounding the budget approval.

“All in all, it was a bummer but it is understandable,” Araque said.

Despite feeling dissatisfied with the outcome, the computer science major mentioned the club intends to use its account to finance the 3D printer and the necessary materials.

During the first half of the meeting, the ICC voted on budget requests from a few clubs right after they had presented.

The ICC gave all clubs five minutes to discuss their budget requests, however, after nine clubs had their budgets individually voted upon, ICC motioned to approve the remaining requests for all other clubs in closed session after they all presented.

The council was supposed to vote after hearing all the remaining requests. However, ICC’s closed session was inconclusive so they moved the budget approval for the nine remaining clubs to the general session meeting on Monday, March 11.

Austin Toney, student activities advisor for the Student Development Office, said all the budget requests that were approved will get funding from the Club Support Account.

Funding for the Club Support Account is provided under Fund 71. Money is transferred to Fund 81 which then funds individual club accounts.

The account had around $19,000. This was distributed to the clubs after the original $33,269 request was amended. The account has no more money left.

The ICC gave the International Club money from its Leadership Training Account which is provided under Fund 71.

Money distribution to the nine remaining clubs was voted on and approved by the clubs in attendance on March 11 instead of being voted on by ICC officers.

Reflecting on the club budget allocation process, President of the Child Development Club Alondra Ortega expressed her concerns about the fairness of the initial presentations.

“I felt a little conflicted, I felt it was a bit unfair to have the initial presentations that got to go first,” Ortega said.

Ortega, who is studying early childhood education, said those clubs that had the opportunity to go first could either be approved or denied right away and that took away from the total budget that was allotted for all.

“I feel very disappointed having sat through the entire meeting, wanting to see if our club did get approved, and not being able to know right away,” Ortega said.

Highlighting potential improvements the ICC could have implemented, Ortega said considering a different format could ensure every club has an opportunity to voice their concerns with enough time to plead their case.

“I know some clubs, they got a lot of questions if their budgets were strictly necessary or not,” Ortega said after the March 6 meeting. “I think that was only put into question when there was less budget to go around for everybody.”

Despite some clubs questioning the necessity of their budget reviews in the aftermath of the March 6 meeting, ICC President Oscar Hernandez offered clarity during the March 11 meeting.

“What we wanted to do was make it so that everyone had an equal opportunity to get funding because I think the amount that was requested was more than we had to provide,” Hernandez said. “So obviously that meant we had to amend some things just so other people had the opportunity to get money as well.”


Editor’s Note: The Union clarified further context on the funding process for club accounts, at 3:26 on Thursday, March 28. 

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