Student Services Finance Committee met Monday night to debate funding for their own 2005-06 budget and the Student Judiciary budget, making minor changes to give the two arms of the Associated Students of Madison slightly less than what they asked.
The meeting brought fall semester SSFC allocations for 2005-06 to a close.
SSFC chair Janell Wise stepped down last week to present to other members a requested SSFC budget of $107,600. The budget was approved at $106,450, after debate resulted in cuts of $1,150.
Most of the debate was dedicated to an amendment, which was proposed to add $12,000 to the budget to provide stipends to the currently unpaid members of SSFC.
Although members said they thought the money for wages was justified because committee members put in a lot of work, the amendment was not passed.
The majority of members said the addition of stipends would be hard to administer in a responsible way because some members may do more work by attending more meetings, and preparing amendments to budgets on their own time would be hard to justify.
SSFC member Brad Vogel said students would not understand why committee members allocated money to themselves.
“It sends the completely wrong message to students,” Vogel said.
Although the proposed amendment did not pass, members encouraged each other to keep the amendment in mind when debating the internal Associated Students of Madison budget in the future. ASM committee members receive considerably larger wages compared to paid members of SSFC who do “comparable work,” according to Wise.
“It is a slap in the face to earn less than the ASM chair,” Wise said. “There needs to be some parity in stipends in this organization.”
Cuts were also made to SSFC paid positions. Members cut wages for the future chair by $800, allocating $4,000 for the position. They also passed a $300 cut to the vice-chair position, which will receive $2,000 in the next fiscal year.
An additional $50 was cut, removing money previously allocated to childcare for members.
SSFC also debated and did not cut the unallocated 2005-06 SSFC budget. The budget was left at $9,000 as a fund used in emergencies for the 30 organizations SSFC oversees.
SSFC members also debated and approved the 2005-06 Student Judiciary budget, which had requested $42,800.
After cuts were made to the associate justice wages and the poll-worker wages, SSFC passed the total budget at $39,208.
SSFC members said judiciary poll workers put effort into increasing voter turnout and stopping election violations.
SSFC member Erica Christenson said a $2,600 cut to poll workers was justifiable because “more people voting doesn’t mean that they are more educated.”
Student Judiciary Chief Justice Nathaniel Romano said it was apparent two members may have pushed their own views during debate of their budget instead of remaining neutral, but felt “most rep[resentatives] honored their roles in office.”