Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MEChA, a Chicano cultural student club, denied funding by Fresno State Student Government, other cultural clubs claim similar treatment

"Fresno State Chicano advocacy group MEChA accuses Associated Students Incorporated of discrimination"
2014-03-05 by Rick Montanez from "KFSN" []:
FRESNO, Calif. -- Claims of outright discrimination were flying at Fresno State on Wednesday. A Chicano group says it was denied funding because it's too inclusive.
There was a lot of frustration on campus Wednesday evening. Dozens of students left the Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) student government meeting angry over funding issues. The head of the Women's Studies department even said professors are now requesting President Castro call for a formal investigation.
Students and faculty in Wednesday meeting accused the Student Board of "systematic oppression." MEChA, a Chicano advocacy group that's been active on campus here for decades, said it was denied its request for $1,200 to help cover costs of the Chicano Youth Conference in February.
The group said it followed all requirements in requesting funding. Now, other groups are stepping forward claiming the board is discriminating against minority-focused campus organizations.
At a news conference earlier in the day, MEChA said it will not allow Fresno State to pull away from minority studies and events. They also said they are angry over ASI's written denial of funding.
"That's what the letter mentioned -- that we have been... discriminating against certain students. But that was not our intention. I'm not sure what was the reason for that, if it was just them targeting organizations that help marginalized people," said Juan Carlos Robles, MEChA.
'A written statement issued to Action News from ASI said MEChA did not meet minimum requirements for sponsorship.
At the meeting, ASI's finance chair said specific language in MEChA's application did not prove the event was open to the entire campus. ASI also said MEChA did not appeal the application's denial, but it is encouraging the group to resubmit in order for the committee to reconsider funding the event.

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