EdBoard: SALSA reports on concerns to JFC

In a recent open letter to the Joint Funding Committe (JFC), the Spanish and Latine Student Association (SALSA) executive board wrote about cuts made to their budget request which they believe to be the result of bias within the JFC.

In their report, they document which of their desired events for the 2024 year are going receive funding, which they connect to a larger pattern of underfunding they argue that other Latine and Black student organizations have to contend with.

They point out a greater need for funding due to the small size of their developing alumni network, and the fact that a large number of their members come from low-income backgrounds. This means that most of their funding comes from JFC directly; thus, they can only fund evens which the JFC deems as important — not those valued by their own current and former members. Another important concern is their claim that the JFC, which consists of around two dozen students, has no members that are Black or Latine. However, The Tartan could not confirm this.

Still, we here at The Tartan editorial board support SALSA. We believe that cultural student organizations serve a key function on our campus. They provide community for students in minority groups and are an integral part of the broader campus community. SALSA points out that their most consistently funded event, “Noche Latina,” occurs during family weekend and serves are a way for Carnegie Mellon to outwardly display “diversity promotion.” It is unfair to this group to feel tokenized during one of the few events for which they are funded, yet remaining unable to spend money in like with their own priorities. They argue that events like their Senior Farewells are equally important to their members but aren’t viewed as valuable by the JFC because the funding for this event was entirely cut.

The JFC is under stricter budgetary constraints for the 2024 fiscal year, meaning that many student organizations will find themselves losing funding for events. However, SALSA has done a commendable job documenting a pattern of consistent underfunding compared to other cultural student organizations. We believe that given the considerations they outline in their report, the JFC should reevaluate how they impose budget cuts on cultural organizations such as SALSA.