Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) reallocated $35,000 from ASI Club funds to the Cal Poly Cares initiative.
This reallocation of funds was approved by the ASI Board of Directors during their Feb. 3 meeting.
Cal Poly Cares is a basic needs initiative that works to provide financial assistance to Cal Poly students experiencing temporary hardship or emergency situations, according to the Cal Poly Cares website.
Due to ASI clubs functioning in an entirely virtual manner this quarter, the ASI Business & Finance committee noted that a majority of clubs were not utilizing the entirety of their funds, according to Vice Chair of the ASI Board of Directors Alan Faz.
Once ASI noticed that there was a large pool of excess money from ASI clubs that was continuing to grow, ASI began an investigation into the best initiative to reallocate the excess money to. With this reallocation of $35,000, ASI hoped to address the most prominent student needs at the time, according to Faz.
After collecting student feedback, the ASI officers noted that amid the pandemic, many Cal Poly students were struggling with food insecurity, homelessness or trouble paying their bills, according to Faz.
Based on Cal Poly CARES work providing grants to students struggling with immediate financial needs such as emergency housing assistance, assistance with rent and emergency medical care costs, ASI deemed Cal Poly Cares as the best initiative to reallocate the excess funds to, according to Faz.
Cal Poly Cares has provided support to many Cal Poly students struggling with temporary housing, food, or other necessities during emergency situations in their college experiences, according to Faz.
“I’ve witnessed the great support Cal Poly Cares has given to so many members of the Cal Poly community and I want it to continue to grow and support those less privileged and in need of support,” Faz said.
Another university initiative ASI considered reallocating the funds to was a technology rental program. This initiative gives grants to students in need of tech equipment to lessen the technology equity divide during online learning. ASI also considered reallocating the funds to the Cal Poly food pantry, according to Faz.
However, with input from the Dean of Students Office, ASI determined that Cal Poly Cares was the best initiative to reallocate the funds to at this time.
“Cal Poly Cares has become a central access for students to pull from if they’re facing any type of emergency situation that is preventing their academic success,” Faz said.
Faz noted the importance of the board’s decision to reallocate the excess $35,000 of ASI club funds to Cal Poly Cares. He said this decision directly relates to ASI’s commitment to serving Cal Poly students regardless of their background.
“Certain funds are allocated to certain areas of ASI, but that doesn’t mean that we should close ourselves to what the biggest needs of the campus are, especially during this time when a lot of people are suffering,” Faz said.