The Student Services Finance Committee finally came to a decision on the budget for the MultiCultural Student Coalition after postponing the decision twice before, ultimately approving its funding for next year.
Currently, MCSC’s budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year is $273,363. MCSC saw its proposed budget of $296,952 cut down to $264,468 for 2010-11. SSFC passed the budget with a vote of 5-3-5 after a series of intense debates regarding the role of paid staff members to direct services.
While the two paid staff members — totaling $8,822 in the total budget — were ultimately restored, SSFC representatives remained divided.
“I still think the group has asked for a certain staff level. They have a primary focus on direct service. I am not here to micromanage and tell the group what staff they can have. I believe a paid staff position will promote accountability,” said Jake Burow, SSFC representative.
Vice Chair Michael Romenesko and Rep. Carl Fergus were the leaders in the counter-argument against the paid staff positions. Romenesko claimed the positions could easily be fulfilled by volunteers, and Fergus claimed most organizations use less than half of the paid staff MCSC uses.
“These organizations are very important to develop identities. They are invaluable resources on campus. Everybody benefits from the services they provide. I’m glad they restored some of the funding,” said Samir Jaber, UW-Madison law student, who spoke on behalf of MCSC at open forum.
The Campus Women’s Center appealed for a re-decision after it was denied eligibility Sept. 20. Zorian Lasowsky, finance coordinator of CWC, and Tina Trevino-Murphy, programming coordinator of CWC, claimed some SSFC representatives were confused on the bylaws of the ASM constitution.
“Our argument is that certain members were deciding eligibility under a bylaw that didn’t exist. The two groups of people that were operating under two different sets of bylaws is a violation of due process,” Lasowsky said.
“Save the CWC” is a group formed in response to CWC’s denied eligibility. Jenny Wustmann, co-founder of “Save the CWC,” says some of CWC’s direct services are the Condemn Crawl and Crisis Counseling.
SSFC Chair Brandon Williams said since the group could not find a specific procedural error in the Sept. 20 eligibility hearing, CWC could not be granted re-decision for their eligibility.
Five new members were sworn into SSFC after being appointed at Wednesday’s ASM Student Council Meeting. Members sworn in who had speaking rights were freshmen Martin Uraga and Sam Peters, sophomores Andrea Nichols and Boan Sianipar, and senior Grant Smith.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztl�n had its budget decided at $69,170, which was lower than its proposed budget of $76,140.25. MEChA saw major cuts to its airfare budget to fly performers to campus and to send representatives to national conferences.
“Overall, the feeling is positive, especially for our [fully-funded] CulturArte Program, which is our direct service,” Ismael Cuevas, junior and member of MEChA, said.