During an emergency Associated Students of Madison Student Council meeting Wednesday, the ASM internal and General Student Services Funds budget decisions were postponed.
Student Council passed the budgets for the Student Services Finance Committee and the Student Activity Center Governing Board. The date for final decisions for the other budgets has yet to be decided.
The ASM internal budget and the GSSF budget will be sent to Conference Committee, which must convene within five days of the Student Council meeting.
The committee consists of eight members: four from Student Council and four from SSFC. The chairs for both committees are included.
The goal of the Conference Committee, said ASM Secretary Kurt Gosselin, is to resolve some of the differences in budgetary opinion between SSFC and Student Council.
Tom Templeton, vice chair of Student Council, said the committee has until Feb. 26 to deliberate and reach a final decision on the undecided budgets.
After the budgets are passed through the Conference Committee, they will be referred back to SSFC for an “up-down” vote, and then they will be passed to Student Council for an “up-down” vote, Templeton said.
Templeton said all changes made to the ASM internal budget Wednesday may be altered by the Conference Committee when they reconvene.
According to ASM bylaws, the budgets must be presented to Chancellor Biddy Martin on March 3, putting time constraints on the decisions of the committees.
The ASM internal budget was delayed in part due to the Student Council being required to end its meeting at midnight, in compliance with open meetings laws, Templeton said.
Student Council restored $50,000 to the Housing and Tenant Support program, which was taken out of the budget by SSFC during its decision.
Rep. Brandon Williams, also the chair of SSFC, said he was hesitant to add what he referred to as “blank check” without a written plan of the program.
Rep. Erik Paulsen, a former staff writer at The Badger Herald, said once there was budgetary authority behind the Housing and Tenant Support program, there would be a written plan.
There was also extensive debate on stipends for ASM leadership positions, including the three officer positions of SSFC. There were two motions to lower the stipend positions, both of which failed.
Rep. Matt Manes urged the committee to not focus on individual numbers of the budgets, but rather to determine whether the budgets placed before the committee were reasonable or not, a sentiment which he echoed from the Feb. 10 Student Council Meeting.
To “nitpick” at specific numbers was to undermine the work of SSFC, Manes said, speaking of not only the SSFC budgets, but also all budgets up for approval from Student Council.
“You can’t take offense to the hard work you did. People get their work questioned all the time. I think these increases are too much,” Rep. Colin Ingram said.