The Student Services Finance Committee determined the 2005-06 budgets for three University of Wisconsin student organizations, cutting more than $35,000 from a College of Agriculture and Life sciences group and the Jewish Cultural Collective over the course of their Monday night meeting.
Debate by the SSFC left the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council budget at $21,222 after cutting funding for office supplies and events such as an annual picnic and the CALS Olympics. CALS had requested $25,074.
CALS offers leadership programs and events that are helpful to UW students, according to organization members.
“Cuts were completely reasonable,” Ryan Becker, representative for CALS, said. “SSFC did a good job working out what was best for UW students in terms of cost analysis.”
CALS did not receive any funding from SSFC last year because they did not meet requirements.
Representatives of the JCC said they hoped to be given a budget of $118,325, an 8 percent increase from the 2003-04 budget, at $108,866. Cuts made to the budget were for speakers for JCC film series and newspaper advertising for these events, among other expenses, lowering the total allocation to $84,535.
“I don’t think the benefit to campus is significant enough for the cost [of airfare for speakers],” Kevin Otten, SSFC member, said.
Joel Bennett, chair of JCC, said he felt the $20,000 cut for JCC events was unfortunate because it may “dramatically affect the number of speakers that could be brought in and lower the quality of events put on by the JCC.”
SSFC also reconsidered the University of Wisconsin Roman Catholic Foundation budget, which was originally decided on Oct. 14. SSFC questioned whether they could legally restore funds for the UW Roman Catholic Foundation for events that were considered religious, such as services.
“It is illegal for us (SSFC) to provide funding for mass, especially because people outside the UW are attending,” SSFC member Rachelle Stone said. “That would mean we would be funding people that don’t pay [segregated fees].”
The SSFC previously allocated $72,000 for the RCF Student Center. SSFC determined it could not provide funding for the foundation’s chapel. After amendments, the final budget was approved at $86,178.
“It is not a crime to scrutinize the given budgets, but if we said OK to everything, then we wouldn’t be here,” Janelle Wise, SSFC member, said. “I think we (SSFC) are doing our jobs the best possible way.”
In its budget presentation, the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group requested $114,000, a 20 percent increase from its 2004-05 budget of $94,720.
WISPIRG allows students to work on meaningful campaigns about issues that are important to students, according to WISPIRG chair Travis Bird.
The budget of WISPIRG will be decided on Thursday.
After determining budgets for CALS, JCC and the UW Roman Catholic Foundation, SSFC is halfway through determining the budgets for student organizations, according to SSFC member Janelle Wise.