Sac State ASI approves addition of social justice scholarship

Aid geared towards student advocates for social justice and anti-racism


Michael Pacheco

Sacramento State’s ASI Vice President of Finance Prabhjyot Shinh discussed the new social justice scholarship with the Board of Directors during a board meeting Wednesday, May 12. The scholarship is geared towards students that advocate for social justice, anti-racism and diversity. Screenshot taken via Zoom.

Michael Pacheco

Sacramento State’s Associated Students, Inc. approved the addition of a social justice scholarship during its board meeting Wednesday.

The scholarship will give $500 in the middle of both the fall and spring semesters to one full-time returning student each term, and is geared to support students who are active in supporting social justice, anti-racism or diversity.

According to the legislation, applicants need to submit a 500 to 750 word essay answering three questions: “What work have you done in the areas of Social Justice, Anti-Racism and diversity? In what ways have you connected or planning to connect this work to your career and or community? Why is this work important to you?”

The funds for the scholarship will come from ASI’s remaining $6,117.97 in strategic priority funds for the 2020-2021 school year with the goal of having the scholarship last for at least the next six years, according to ASI Vice President of Finance Prabhjyot Shinh.

“We hope that the future board of directors would like this idea and find an alternative source of funding in the meantime to keep this scholarship ongoing,” Shinh said.

ASI President Noah Marty said the goal of the policy is to leave something behind by this year’s board of directors that would last beyond their terms.

“Leaving something behind and actually creating something that will outlast us, I think is important,” Marty said. “I think given the challenges that our students have faced this year, given the challenges we faced this year, a scholarship centering around social justice and anti-racism, I think, is the perfect way to allocate these funds.” 

ASI also voted to make changes to how its Student Employment Grant Funds are allocated. Each applicant is now slated to be rewarded up to only the amount requested regardless if ASI has excess funds available, and there are also now rules allowing a possible cap to be placed, at the discretion of the ASI Finance and Budget Committee, on how much any one program can receive.

The fund is disbursed by ASI to fund student employment at “on-campus programs that are dedicated to our common goal of serving the students” and can only be used to fund student employees, according to the website. Programs that receive this must demonstrate three efforts to promote ASI during the school year.

If an applicant receives the full amount requested prior to the completion of the allocation of any excess funds, leftover funds will be distributed to remaining programs that have not met the full amount of their request.

“After the base allocations, any remaining funds are disbursed to remaining programs based off of a percentage calculation,” ASI Director of Business Administration Joshua Bozarth said.

The programs that received the most funding in the 2020-2021 school year were Career Tracks at $39,193, the Peer Assisted Learning Program at $29,394, and UNIQUE Cultural Affairs and First Year Experience: Co Curricular Retention (PEAK) each getting $24,495, according to the website.