The governing body of University of Wisconsin’s student government convened Monday to address how each chair will use the remaining 92 days of their term, which include a renewed effort for a substantial review of UW System policies on student fees.
Student Services Finance Committee Chair Ellie Bruecker said her committee will be dealing with some contentious issues this year regarding the non-allocable budgets, which will likely be seeing large increases from the Division of Recreational Sports and the Wisconsin Union.
According to Bruecker, Rec Sports, which has not asked for an increased budget in some time, needs the extra funding to bring the Natatorium and Shell facilities up to state safety code. However, Bruecker said the same was not true for the Wisconsin Union, as they have their own renovation budget.
“I cannot explain the significant increase the Union is going to ask for, nor am I happy with it,” Bruecker said.
She said such changes impact the students as they pay for the segregated fees and added she will be meeting with the Union for further information as to how the money is going to be used.
In response to Bruecker’s report, Statter advised ASM make efforts to increase campus awareness about non-allocable segregated fees and who is in charge of them.
“We all pay over $220 each semester for the Union and I would say 99.8 percent of students have no idea that that is why their seg fees are $500,” Statter said. “It is not because of us, it is because the folks over there like to spend money.”
Bruecker added she will also be asking the Board of Regents for a full review of the F50 policy, which mandates System administration of student fees.
Committee Chairs also reached consensus on a communal objective of simply “getting things done” by the end of the semester.
Sustainability Committee Chair Collin Higgins reiterated this point, emphasizing his wishes to get his newer committee off the ground. According to Higgins, the Sustainability Committee will be voting on campus campaigns in their upcoming meeting in an effort to begin making an impact on campus.
Such campaigns could include an energy audit of the campus and the standardization of recycling bins, Higgins said.
Dan Statter, Legislative Affairs chair, also emphasized the importance of his committee’s campaigns, highlighting the state’s biennial budget and updating the body with reports from the governor’s office.
According to Statter, a tuition freeze is not out of the question this year, a motion which could end the trend on tuition increasing.
“The line we are getting from the governor’s office is there are things in the budget that students will like very much,” Statter said. “Having a tuition freeze is a legacy we could all be proud of.”
ASM Vice Chair Maria Giannopoulos ended the meeting with information on the Jan. 29 spring semester student organization fair, which ASM is co-sponsoring.The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. in the Kohl Center.