MEChA’s victorious appeal to Student Judiciary holds particular significance for this campus. The decision sets an important precedent for SSFC viewpoint-neutrality and affirms Student Judiciary’s place as a viable avenue for student redress, but the case stretches beyond these issues into a commentary about separating campus-climate issues from administrative processes.
The decision speaks almost exclusively about SSFC members using their viewpoints when evaluating a criterion regarding MEChA’s inclusiveness. But it is alarming that members seemed to stack additional violations regarding MEChA’s uniqueness and breadth of services without sufficient warrant. Judiciary’s decision was quiet on these accusations.
Now, MEChA gets a chance to be heard in a new forum, ASM Student Council. The council now gets to demonstrate its ability to evaluate applications in a viewpoint-neutral manner. All groups who can demonstrate that SSFC violated the rules deserve a second chance, but MEChA is not out of the woods yet. Student Judiciary also neglected to comment on the accusations that MEChA violated UW System financial policies. Student council will have to deal with these questions.
We maintain, as we wrote when SSFC first denied MEChA funding, that we are glad SSFC is serious about reducing students’ segregated fees. But we were wary then that SSFC had “broader motivations” and are pleased to see Student Judiciary send the remaining questions on MEChA’s eligibility to another venue.