The University of Wisconsin Roman Catholic Foundation has been in and out of lawsuits with the university for the past four years, and, at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday, they filed another one.
The complaint not only calls for a reversal of Monday's Student Services Finance Committee decision, but also seeks to remove four members from SSFC.
The five members named in the complaint are Chair Zach Frey, Vice Chair Kellie Sanders, Secretary Jackie Goessl, and representatives Sree Atluru and Christine Harbin. Frey is the only respondent UWRCF does not want removed from the committee.
The committee voted against UWRCF's request for "contract group status," which SSFC member Sree Atluru said would permit the foundation to employ full-time professional staff that would better serve the student members.
In the complaint — sent to Chief Justice Josh Tyack by UWRCF spokesperson Tim Kruse–the religious foundation accuses the five SSFC representatives of violating the viewpoint neutrality clause of the Associated Students of Madison bylaws when they voted against UWRCF's "contract status."
Kruse did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday night.
Atluru said all SSFC representatives hold every student organization that comes before the committee to a consistent standard.
"I treat them as an individual entity. I treat them looking at how they serve all students and how they serve all campus," she said. "If they think that I previously injured their organization, then they have the right to seek recourse, and I have the right to defend myself."
UWRCF has accused SSFC and the UW administration of religious discrimination in the recent past and filed a federal lawsuit on similar grounds with the UW System and four members of the UW administration one week ago. Wednesday's lawsuit was filed with the Associated Students of Madison's Student Judiciary.
Tyack said it is fair to say UWRCF is alleging the same kind of viewpoint-neutrality violation in this case.
SSFC is scheduled to decide on UWRCF's budget tonight. However, the organization may be granted preliminary relief today, which Tyack said would keep SSFC from making any such decision until the Student Judiciary issues a ruling on the case.
"I think both parties would be best served by getting an answer on this as soon as possible," he added.