The Associated Students of Madison voted to create a sustainability grassroots committee and reviewed its internal budget at a meeting on Wednesday night.
This is the second consecutive meeting that ASM has taken a vote concerning the creation of a sustainability committee. This is also the final vote ASM will take on the sustainability committee.
Initially, ASM rejected the proposals to create a sustainability grassroots committee within student government. However, at last week’s meeting, Student Council members voted to reconsider the possibility of creating this committee.
At Wednesday’s meeting, members voted 23-3 in favor of creating the sustainability grassroots committee as a part of student government.
Former ASM Rep. Collin Higgins appealed to ASM before the vote, urging members to make the committee a reality.
University of Wisconsin student Griard Gorelick said the sustainability committee is a big issue and its creation could potentially benefit a lot of students.
“I think there is a lot to be considered,” Gorelick said. “There are a lot of students that could benefit from getting involved in a topic that is global, regional and national. We need to all move forward on this issue, and I think that it is important that as a student body, we take a step forward.”
An ASM statement said the Sustainability Committee will primarily focus on environmental issues and energy conservation. The committee also plans to collaborate with the university’s Office of Sustainability as well as other registered student organizations and campaigns, the statement said.
“ASM is excited to see the creation of a committee that will enhance campus sustainability and move it forward,” ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky said in the statement. “This is an issue that many students are passionate about, and I’m sure that the Sustainability Committee will provide a forum for sustainability alongside ASM.”
Regarding their internal budget, ASM allocated $5,287 in funds to the newly created sustainability grassroots committee.
ASM also reviewed and debated further amendments for its internal budget at the meeting.
ASM Rep. Olivia Wick-Bander said as a part of the budget, ASM should provide $21,297.50 in funds to become a part of United States Student Association.
Wick-Bander said while some people might disagree with some things the organization has done, it is primarily trying to benefit students.
ASM Rep. Maxwell Love said although the council does quite a lot for the student body, by joining the USSA, it would be helping the university reach out to students even more.
Love said the USSA is working on issues relevant to students such as fighting for a higher minimum wage, student loan debt, financial aid and generally making college more accessible to prospective students.
“This organization is doing things that benefit us,” said Love. “If schools aren’t members of USSA, they lose a voice.”
ASM members voted against adding the United States Student Association to its internal budget with a vote of 3-19.