Arts Alliance was demoted from an A-status to B-status student group following this year’s Student Appropriations Finance Committee review process.
About 30 members of the Student Theatre Coalition lined the back wall of Wednesday night’s Associated Student Government Senate meeting to contest the decision.
After speeches for and against the issue, senators voted 20-15 to uphold the status change. A two-thirds majority in the senate would have been necessary for Arts Alliance to maintain its A-status, which allows the group to draw funding from a larger pool of money. The status change will not take effect until the end of Spring Quarter.
Each year, every A-status student group submits an application stating why it should keep its status, said ASG Financial Vice President Malavika Srinivasan, who chairs the SAFC.
The committee then evaluates the group based on criteria, including the group’s need for the student activities fee funds, group stability and financial responsibility, the SESP senior said.
Srinivasan said Arts Alliance, a StuCo production company, has not made use of its portion of the SAF and has also not provided proper documentation for its use of the funds in the past.
Arts Alliance, the nation’s largest student arts organization, requests about $800 each year in funding to rent a garage from the University and occasionally makes larger funding requests for “capital improvements,” most recently for a new lighting board and dimmer through co-sponsorship with other groups.
Srinivasan said her committee thought the group’s financial needs could be accommodated in the B-status group funding pool.
“The size of the pools for A-status and B-status groups are different,” she said. “But there are B-status groups that are funded for up to several thousand dollars.”
Arts Alliance President Liz Olanoff said she and Treasurer Jason Margolis were contacted about the decision Sunday night, and both were surprised to hear of the change in status.
“We believe that this was the result of lots of miscommunications piling up and misunderstandings about how each organization works on the part of the other organization,” Olanoff, a Communication junior, said.
Arts Alliance can apply to be promoted to A-status again as soon as the group provides documentation for all previous uses of SAF funds, which they are currently in the process of reviewing.
“There was a communication issue about where money has gone,” Srinivasan said. “We are going to figure that out going forward, and for all we know, Arts Alliance will be back in A-status soon.”
Margolis said the group has not made a definite decision on if and when members will reapply for A-status.
“We will take the next quarter to think about it,” the Communication senior said. “Of course we were hoping that the decision would be different, but we will move forward and make do and continue producing shows.”[email protected]