Africana cultural center presents budget request

Raiza Beltran

Issues of Web site funding and political associations were topics of concern in Friday’s budget presentation by Africana Student Cultural Center members.
Almost a dozen Africana members presented a request of $39,171 from the Student Services Fees Committee for the 2000-2001 school year.
The fees committee will decide how to split $15 million between 28 groups, including The Minnesota Daily, by the end of February.
Of the funding requested by the ASCC, more than $5,000 would be spent on the group’s Web site, something that is needed, said Duane Johnson, a human ecology major and member of ASCC.
The Web site is intended to alleviate the loss of attendance because of the center’s move to 720 Washington Ave. after the closing of Coffman Union.
“It’s important in bringing people together, to build connections,” Johnson said.
Africana members also requested money for a number of annual activities, including student conferences, free breakfast programs for University students with lower incomes and other programs to increase University retention rates for African-American students.
Among the fees committee’s concerns was ASCC’s activism in the Free Mumia campaign, a Philadelphia-based movement centered around a radio and print journalist arrested for murder. ASCC members justified the group’s participation saying it fell under a portion of the group’s mission statement.
A fees committee member said he was not sure what the guidelines were regarding a student group’s association with political movements.
Hardy Jackson, a management and information systems senior, spoke on behalf of the two groups involved in the meeting. As a member of Africana and a past member of the fees committee, Jackson said he hopes the process will go smoothly.
“Coming from Texas, the University was a real culture shock for me — Africana allowed me to get involved right away,” Jackson said.
The American Indian Cultural Center also presented their budget of $51,000. AICC’s 10 representatives said most of the money will be allocated to their monthly speakers and annual spring powwow, the second largest powwow held in the Twin Cities.

Raiza Beltran covers student life and student government. She can be reached at [email protected] and (612) 627-4070 x3225.