The Student Services Finance Committee passed next year’s Associated Students of Madison Internal Budget Monday night, sending the package to Student Council for a final vote.
While some committee members were unsatisfied with the process, the Internal Budget was passed by an “up-down” vote of 6-1-4 and will be presented to Student Council Feb. 24.
To vote “aye” on the budget would push the budget to Student Council for further approval, and a “nay” vote would push the budget back to Conference Committee.
“I don’t have a huge problem with what’s in it, but the process by which these changes were made, I just can’t approve it,” Rep. Jake Burrows said, who was the only vote to push the budget back to Conference Committee.
Rep. Grant Smith said although the committee may not agree with the process, it was something that had to be addressed outside the SSFC meeting. He believed, however, the budget was ultimately fiscally responsible.
The Conference Committee on Feb. 21 added funds to the Student Organization Fair that were not requested by the organization, as well as $8,000 for aids to the Shared Governance chair. The committee retained the proposed Housing and Tenant Support Program, but cut its funding down to $40,000.
“People have a lot of wants. What is a want and what is a need? They have a lot of great ideas, but is this necessary for us to pay for? Do I think this is fiscally responsible? In my opinion, no,” Rep. Boan Sianipar said.
According to SSFC Secretary Matt Manes, the increases Conference Committee added to the budget would cost students a total of $1.36 each. He said this increase was a reasonable fee for students given the services provided.
Conference Committee member and Student Council Rep. Max Love disagreed with that assessment during open forum.”I don’t know if [any of the decisions we made at Conference Committee] were fiscally responsible. As SSFC, I hope you would make the assessment of whether or not this is fiscally responsible. I didn’t agree with what happened at Conference Committee,” Love said.
Love said he did not feel the additions to the budget were responsible because the additions did not receive approval from neither Student Council nor SSFC.
Love urged SSFC to push the budget back to Conference Committee, which was ultimately denied.
SSFC also passed the General Student Services Fund budget without much debate to Student Council. In addition, they heard the budget for WSUM 91.7 FM.
A number of students affiliated with WSUM spoke in open forum about what the radio station means to them and the experience it has provided them during their budget hearing.
“We budget prudently for things that may happen, and it’s a race to spend as little money as possible,” Dave Black, general manager of WSUM, said.
WSUM’s budget for 2010-11 stands at $313,258.73, which is an increase from the $306,101.85 approved in 2009-10.
The committee ended the meeting in closed session to discuss bus pass plans for next academic year.