Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


SSFC concludes budget decisions

One of the most highly scrutinized and hotly contested budget controversies in UW-Madison history came to an end Sunday evening as the Student Services Finance Committee passed the final five student organization budget requests it will hear this year.

The Rape Crisis Center, the Asian Pacific American Council, Wunk Sheek, Polygon and the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transexual Campus Council all brought proposals before the committee.

APAC’s proposal met the most significant scrutiny of the evening, as board members contested funding proposals item-by-item.

APAC’s budget for the 2001-02 academic year totaled $62,521. After submitting an initial request of $292,830, they were granted $211,510 to improve awareness of UW’s Asian-Pacific community.

“It has been nearly two months of work to put together this budget,” APAC chair Heidi Kong said. “However, I’m afraid we are going to have a lot of overworked staff members.”

APAC wanted to hire 20 campus liaison workers at $9 per hour. SSFC granted APAC the funding necessary to hire 10 liaisons at $8.25 per hour.

In other significant changes to APAC’s original budget proposal, SSFC reduced their request for a programming allocation of $100,000 to $81,000 and reduced computer equipment requests of $10,000 to $7,500.

Furthermore, SSFC granted APAC $60,000 to host a conference on Asian-Pacific issues for UW-Madison students and APAC organizations from campuses across Wisconsin.

Not all SSFC members were pleased with the final APAC budget.

“I’m very displeased; a 338 percent increase over last year is atrocious,” SSFC committee member Matt Modell said. “Many members of the committee simply have no regard for fiscal responsibility. The cumulative effect of these abuses may result in the doubling of seg fees students must pay. Some may say it’s only $30, but on principal alone, that is a lot of money.”

SSFC’s budget votes mostly fell along distinct ideological rifts, SSFC chair Lamont Smith said.

“There are really two ways to look at any group’s budget,” he said. “You can support the vision of an organization or you can pass judgment on their goals. I choose to support their vision.”

In other business, Wunk Sheek, a 32-year-old Native American interest group on campus, went before SSFC for the first time in their history in search of funding. Wunk Sheek set a record for funding requests by groups in their first year by petitioning for $147,000. SSFC granted the group $100,682.

Wunk Sheek hosts several Native American powwows on campus each year, as well as providing support service to UW Native American students.

“I was concerned over the fact that they cut one staff position from our request,” Wunk Sheek chair Starlyn Rose Tourtillott said. “Currently we have three staff and they are underpaid.”

SSFC unanimously approved a small budget increase for the Rape Crisis center and a 2.5 percent decrease in the budget for Polygon, a campus engineering interest group.

LGBTCC requested $48,000 and was granted $46,500.

The conclusion of the SSFC budget process left Modell and some others upset.

“In general, people have learned how to abuse the system,” he said. “These types of radical increases could be a problem for years to come.”

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