The Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group was granted a second chance to try and receive student segregated fees by the Associated Students of Madison Student Judiciary.
Earlier in the year, WISPIRG was denied funding by the Student Service Finance Committee because it was believed 75 percent of the group’s beneficiaries were not University of Wisconsin students, which is one of the criteria for funding organizations.
WISPIRG Visibility Chair Sami McKeough said his organization has been working on a plan to present their case differently this time around.
McKeough added WISPIRG needs to be much more clear on what their direct service entails because it caused a lot of confusion with the eligibility for funding during the last hearing.
ASM Student Judiciary Chief Justice Kathryn Fifield said the reason WISPIRG is receiving a second hearing is because the SSFC didn’t seem to interpret the definition of beneficiaries clearly.
“The majority of the SSFC did not believe enough beneficiaries were on board for WISPIRG’s campaign,” Fifield said. “They weren’t using the terms of the bylaws correctly, and we thought that was unacceptable.”
Fifield also added the most complicated part of the case came with WISPIRG’s explanation of their direct community service.
The Student Judiciary feels WISPIRG did not explain their direct service as well as they could have, but also that SSFC was misinterpreting what the direct service entails.
“Because of the confusion, the student judiciary decided [the appeal] had to be sent back because there was no possible way the SSFC could have made a neutral decision on it,” Fifield said.
McKeough said WISPIRG was hoping they would be sent to the student council instead this time around but is still looking forward to re-presenting in front of the SSFC.
“We will be much more thorough in presenting how WISPIRG provides many great opportunities for students to be involved in political action throughout campus,” McKeough said. “We’re ready to convey our message to the SSFC again.”
SSFC Chair Matt Manes said he disagreed with the decision, and he plans on appealing it. He has five days to do so.