The University of Wisconsin’s student government is a collection of characters and storylines that should only last four years a piece. But some figures just cannot help themselves and linger in the Student Activity Center long after their time is up. Matt Manes, a former chair of the Student Services Finance Committee, is one of those people.
Manes, currently working a full-time job and maintaining his ability to peep his head into SSFC because of his special student status, received eligibility approval for the Medieval Warriorcraft League. The group will use segregated fees to train UW students in the art of medieval battle. He may use pens shaped like swords to promote the group. It is possibly the most practical group that has received approval from SSFC so far this year.
The idea the group needs segregated fees funding is absurd. Manes himself would probably admit that. Throughout his time at UW, Manes has highlighted this very absurdity inherent to the General Student Services Fund and proposed a more pragmatic solution, the Campus Services Fund. The CSF would alleviate the shame of students possibly funding for groups with dubious practicability, like Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow or the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group.
The MWL will have seven salaried positions. We can begrudgingly understand why the group would need student funding for purchasing swords and daggers, but we doubt the importance of paying people for positions which could easily be filled by volunteers. Students should be outraged that money they spend can fund this.
Manes insists that his proposal comes from a love for medieval warriorcraft and not a desire to blow up the GSSF. But the proposal still highlights some of the most ridiculous intricacies and loopholes of the fund in a manner Manes probably wanted to expose.
We hope this year’s SSFC can get medieval on the GSSF’s ass and tweak the absurdity Manes has highlighted to prevent the type of waste evident in his group.
But we still do not think Manes should be applauded for exposing these systematic inefficiencies. He might think the group is a case of breaking an egg to make a bacon and reform omelette, but students are still paying for his ridiculous point.