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The student government at UC Berkeley allocated $982 of student funds earlier this year to send a delegation of "queer and Latin" individuals to a conference designed to "educate and empower queer people of color."
Berkeley's Young Queers United For Empowerment (YQUFE), the organization that received the funds via a student senate bill, describes itself on its Facebook as serving "those who identify as queer and Latin."
The funds were allocated out of the student government’s “contingency fund” for conference fees, renting vans and “two queen beds,” for the 25 individuals expected to attend the conference, which took place at California State University, Northridge, about 360 miles South of the Berkeley campus.
The same student Senate, earlier in the year, also passed “A Bill in Support of the Queer and Asian Conference” which provided $1,500 out of contingency funds for the “only student-run conference for queer and API-identified [Asian Pacific Islander] individuals” in the country.
Both bills were sponsored by student Sen. Andy Albright (class of 2013) who describes himself as "representing Cal’s queer community, as well as progressive, politically-minded students and communities on campus.”
The expenditure of funds for "colored" and API "queer” students follows several major increases in tuition and student fees at Berkeley University over the last several years. In 2011 alone students were subjected to a 17.6 percent administrators say are necessary to make up for shortfalls from the nearly bankrupt California State government.
The bill notes, that YQUE also raised funds to attend the conference selling fruit at Sproul Plaza on Berkeley’s campus.
Follow the author of this article on twitter: @JosiahRyan
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