The ASU board reserved funds to buy unique clothing for its own commissioners and staff.
By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief
The ASU Executive Committee allocated $1,500 for special jackets to be used by its commissioners and faculty members, frustrating some with their spending.
In a Feb. 26 meeting, the ASU passed a motion 3-2 reserving funds to be used for buying 19 jackets exclusively for its student members and staff. According to the unofficial minutes of the financial meeting, the original starting price was $1,412 but was raised to $1,500 to cover any additional costs. Some ASU members disagreed with the vote while one student went as far as to post his frustrations on social media.
“I hope that someone writes about the waste of money the @LAVC #ASU #StudentGovernmentBoard just spent on 19 jackets for only the current board & fellow [workers] in the office,” Eddie Kaufman-Morrow, president of the Eco Advocates Club, said on Twitter. “It cost the students of LAVC $1,500. We could do so much with this money.”
ASU Vice President Sebastian Diaz was one of two who voted against the motion, believing the jackets to be a luxury item.
“Just from the principle of buying apparel for groups, we already shut that down for clubs, so why would we do it ourselves?” Diaz said.
No jackets have been purchased as of yet, but the cost of each breaks down to approximately $55, according to an ASU adviser who wished to remain anonymous due to privacy concerns. According to the adviser, they believe that the total allocated funds won’t be exhausted on the jackets and that the clothing could be a good way to promote the ASU.
“My goal here is to get ASU marketing moving along so the students are aware of the benefits we offer,” the adviser said, “and really trying to get the best student leaders to represent the student body as a whole.”
ASU Commissioner of Publicity Elijah Rodriguez approved of the idea and thinks the jackets will be helpful to their overall image.
“It’s just professional attire,” Rodriguez said. “We’re student leaders and we should make sure we look professional at all times.”
The ASU adviser did state that they make it very apparent to the clubs the ASU has money it is willing to lend, even hosting workshops to teach them exactly how ask for it. However, those workshops are often poorly attended. In addition, the adviser believes ASU spending more money is not much of a surprise, given that they represent thousands of students as compared to a club.
“I think that if the clubs have an issue with how much money the ASU is spending, they just need to be more proactive about asking for it,” the adviser said, “because I think the ASU will definitely give them the money.”
Rodriguez sympathizes with the clubs but thinks that the main obstacle is getting everyone in the ASU on board if clubs wanted to get their own special items.
“If you’ve done hard work with your club, I feel like you should deserve to have some self-identity with your club,” Rodriguez said.
Los Angeles Mission College student government is also looking to get their own unique apparel. According to their ASO office, they are looking to get special T-shirts. Though a budget has not been set, they are looking at a cost of no more than $300.
Tate Coan contributed to this report.