University of Wisconsin’s student radio station requested funding for two new software upgrades during the first Student Services Finance Committee meeting of the spring semester Thursday.
WSUM Technician Laura Gutknecht said the station would like funding for MusicMaster scheduling software and Simian radio automation software.
The goal of upgrading these technologies is to better synchronize the myriad of music student DJs receive and allow the system to function almost automatically on a 24/7 basis.
“What we’re trying to do is organizing tens of thousands of CDs for our DJs to better function for our station,” Gutknecht said. “We don’t upgrade lightly. It’s only when the needs are imminent.”
He said the cost of these two software upgrades represents less than one percent of WSUM’s approximately $342,290 proposed new budget. However, Gutknecht led the presentation on the upgrades because the cost of the budget line for these researches is twice as expensive as they were the previous year.
While SSFC Chair Ellie Bruecker noted WSUM’s budget is one of the highest among all UW registered student organizations, its funding stream does not draw from the General Student Services Fund like most other university RSOs.
Black told the SSFC members his objective was not to hit the student government with too high of a spike in funding too fast. The total increase of WSUM’s proposed budget to the SSFC is only a 2.92 percent increase from the organization’s current budget this year, he added.
“That was our goal, to keep it under a 3 percent,” Black said. “I wasn’t going to submit a budget that was more than that.”
Bruecker said WSUM’s proposed budget appeared fiscally responsible despite a few areas where she thinks the organization can “trim the fat.” Bruecker added she approves of WSUM’s proposed budget for next year.
“To me, it sounds like that’s going to save costs long term,” she said. “If we’re going to take care of paying a small increase this next year, and if that going to support really big increases in the future, then I would support that.”
Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary Committee Nick Checker suggested numerous propositions to cut costs. He said the $4,300 allotted to the Student Election Commissioner chair was an excessive amount to give somebody facilitating only the spring and fall online elections. Checker recommended limiting this number to $2,000. He also proposed budget cuts for the outreach consultant, election advertising and special elections.
Bruecker said she was pleased with the Student Judiciary Committee’s appeal for decreased funding.
“I was really impressed they had a 22 percent reduction in their budget,” she said. “I think that definitely shows they are committed to keeping costs low, and that’s great. I was pretty happy with their requests.”