Members of student government denied the appeal of a multicultural student organization in last night’s Student Services Finance Committee meeting, with none of the members who had originally voted “nay” changing their original vote.
In its appeal to the committee, Multicultural Student Coalition appealed SSFC’s original decision to deny the group funds on the basis of incorrectly implementing procedure, miscalculations during the original hearing and improper bylaw implementation.
A main point of debate centered on the group’s accusation that committee members bordered on a viewpoint neutrality violation when they did not take the group’s numbers at face value and made internal calculations.
MCSC member Rebecca Pons said the moment prorating is introduced, there has to be a viewpoint involved.
SSFC Chair Sarah Neibart responded, arguing the committee is allowed to assess and interpret the numbers given by the group, and that VPN refers to the way members cannot take into account any viewpoints regarding the group itself.
SSFC Rep. Cale Plamann agreed and said he did not believe he made any violations when making calculations. He said the body has a responsibility to interpret the numbers given from a group based on direct service criteria.
“The criteria as written and as decided on by the seventh circuit is legal,” he said. “This is legal, this is procedurally valid and if someone did change their procedure from group to group, that would be a problem.”
SSFC Rep. Tia Nowack said she felt members of the committee were not acting consistently with how they had in previous hearings during the original MCSC budget hearing and said she felt this meant the committee should reconsider and have a rehearing.
SSFC Rep. David Vines said he agreed with Plamann that the process is legal but felt significant errors in the committee’s finding of fact constituted reason to reconsider. He cited the example of the group’s survey direct service, which members including himself had miscalculated.
“There were significant errors in our finding of fact that were repeated over and over again, and for that purpose alone, somebody should motion to reconsider this decision,” Vines said.
After debate, none of the five members who had originally voted “nay” on the eligibility hearing felt they had heard significant information to change their vote, and with this the appeal was denied.
Today the Student Judiciary will hear MCSC’s case, and if it rules in favor of the group, it would be granted a rehearing by SSFC.
Also during the meeting, members of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan presented the organization’s budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. A decision will be reached in Thursday’s meeting.
Associated Students of Madison Chair Allie Gardner also presented the ASM Internal Budget during the meeting, but a vote will not be reached until next Monday’s meting.
The committee also passed the 2012-13 Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment budget of $83,717.37.