The Student Services Finance Committee met Wednesday night and approved proposed budget amounts for WSUM student radio station and Vets for Vets, an organization in support of student war veterans.
WSUM received $277,213 and Vets for Vets received $32,280 for the 2004-2005 academic year.
WSUM had its budget amended to eliminate stipend wages for student employees, a method of reimbursement that station General Manager Dave Black indicated would be the best way to pay student workers. Station Manager Rob Sarwark, a UW junior, added to this sentiment.
“UW student employees may only work 20 hours a week,” Sarwark said. He added that there are odd hours that everyone works, and sometimes there are events in which all employees work.
“I feel very strongly about the stipends,” Black said. He added that the kind of shifts that students work and the nature of a 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year radio station may not always be consistent.
“I think it’s impossible to [pay students] correctly with hourly wages.”
Black gave the example that if a station manager hears something on the radio when he or she is at home, and calls in to tell the deejay to change something in the program, it would not be practical for an employee to receive pay for three minutes of work.
The amendments to the budget added a total of one dollar to switch from stipends to hourly wages, which was then removed from a different part of the budget.
After the budget was approved, Black added that WSUM has been a “good investment in the past,” and he expects this year to bring further success with the radio station and to empower students more, following their “best year yet.”
Vets for Vets, a student program that provides information and support for all veterans on the UW campus, received its requested amount in a unanimous 8-0 vote. Representatives of Vets for Vets Cassandra Skelton and Syanna Swyers said the group normally provides services to a maximum of 500 veterans a year, but that number could rise due to the situation in the Middle East.
The Vets for Vets vote appeared rushed as the meeting approached its fourth hour. Concern was raised regarding use of university services by Vets for Vets for private copying and printing use.
Both groups could be affected by the SSFC’s duty to take inflation into their funding considerations. In some recent decisions, such as WSUM, student-organization funding has increased to account for inflation. However, WSUM cut the amount equal to the new appropriation for inflation, so their net funding level from last year did not change. SSFC member Petit added that if SSFC does not account for inflation in one year, they would have to make up for it in following years.
WISPIRG presented a proposal for $116,520 this upcoming fiscal year, more than a 65 percent increase of the allocated $77,500 the group received last term. The increase, according to group member Emily Miota, a UW senior, may be attributed to inflation, a beefed up staff for greater impact on campus, and the proposed hiring of a full-time energy advocate.
Diversity Education Programs, a group that consists of some academic staff to work for education in diversity and improving campus climate, is asking for $9,000 less than last year’s allocated amount, making a grand total of $381,295.
The two groups will have their financial fates discussed at the SSFC’s next meeting Monday night.