The Multicultural Student Coalition is on the lookout for missing supplies, members told the Student Services Finance Committee Wednesday while presenting an alteration to the coalition’s 2002-03 budget.
A color Palm Pilot, a CD burner and software were costs the group said were incorrectly charged to their invoice from UW-Madison’s Division of Information Technology. Not only did the group not request the items, say the organization’s chairs, but members say they have yet to see them.
“We got charged $400 for a Palm Pilot, and no one knows where the Palm Pilot is,” Theresa Vidaurri, MCSC co-chair, said. “We don’t have a Palm Pilot. Nobody in MCSC has a Palm Pilot.”
MCSC chairs said they requested $500 worth of services from DoIT, but with the extra items were charged over $1100.
According to the MCSC, DoIT said Tshaka Barrows, former MCSC chair, signed for the supplies, including a Palm m505 Color Connected Organizer, although DoIT cannot find the signed receipt.
Peter Moran, the other co-chair for MCSC, said the mistake may have resulted from his confusion over the requisition the group submitted to DoIT. He said Connie Wilson, an academic supervisor of SSFC, gave the students minimal help during the process.
“You showed me a DoIT bill which indicates that Tshaka [made] these two equipment purchases,” Wilson said to Moran in an e-mail dated Feb. 28, 2002. “The equipment purchased should be in the possession of MCSC.”
Matt Modell, former member of the Student Services Finance Committee, said he suspects Barrows, who now lives in California, has possession of the Palm Pilot. He added that regardless of whether the items are found, MCSC needs to be responsible for the lost items.
“I think the MCSC needs to pay for it with their own fees, not with student fees,” Modell said. “If they can’t find it, they need to be responsible for it.”
Moran said he believed Barrows when he denied possession of the Palm Pilot.
“I’d like to think he didn’t take it,” Moran said.
Barrows was unavailable for comment Wednesday night.
In the meantime, Vidaurri said the MCSC is attempting to clear up any misunderstanding.
“The student body should be concerned,” she said. “We don’t know where our money is.”
Modell said he does not think MCSC had submitted the budget-change request by the deadline, the first Friday in April, making the fund allocation illegal.
“I fully expect someone to file a lawsuit on this,” he said.