A.S. board approves "Shapeshifter" funding

During Monday afternoon’s meeting, the A.S. Board approved $10,000 in funding for Film 33’s latest project, a short film called “Shapeshifter,” a short film about women and body image. They did so only to reconsider it around the thirty-minute mark. After hearing a pitch from producer Michael Osborne, director Kelly Thompson, and Joseph Sanchez, about the film’s subject matter, potential impact, and importance, as well as what was already covered by funding from other sources, the A.S. Board approved funding the project with only one abstention.

Osborne and Thompson asked for $10,000, which would cover 50% of funds for the film and be used for cast and crew salaries, camera, wardrobe, insurance, sets and production costs. Another $10,000 comes from combined funding from their own fundraising and the SMC Foundation, which offered $5,000 to the class. However, this $5,000 is contingent upon whether or not A.S. approves funding the project.

What prompted the A.S. Board to reconsider the approval was the amount of funds left in the Special Projects account, the account that would typically fund such projects. With $40,000 left in the account, $10,000 would wipe out a quarter of that account. At the time of this week’s meeting, over 50 proposals were left to be considered, with 20 requesting at least $500 from the Special Projects account.

The funding was already approved, and Osborne and Thompson had already left the room. Film 33 plans to begin filming on the 28th. They had to find some way to fund it.

The A.S. Board also considered taking funds from its reserves and Student Success account, and also considered asking Osborne and Thompson to return next week, as up to two Board meetings are allotted for proposals. Taking funds from other accounts would require approval from Auxiliary Services. Ultimately, any A.S. Board action on the matter has been deferred until A.S. Director of Budget Management Hasun Khan meets with the Director of Auxiliary Services George Prather. Osborne and Thompson did meet with Khan after the meeting.

This comes after the A.S. Board approved a funding a documentary from one of it’s own directors at last week’s meeting from the same account. Directors are allowed to submit proposals for events, and according to an instructional manual on submitting A.S. proposals those events can be in or out of the A.S. offices. Filming is even one of the given examples.

In the other notable part of the meeting, the A.S. Board also approved to call for Joint Council to rescind approval of the current A.S. Constitution. As it stands, the only body that can make any changes to the A.S. Constitution is the Constitution Committee, which only makes the process longer than necessary when the necessary change is adding a comma or correcting a misspelled word.


Edit: May 14, 2015, 4:51 p.m. This article previously stated May 11, 2015 as being the last Associated Students board meeting of the semester, it is actually May 18, 2015.