Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Former Black Student Union head faces theft charges

The former president of the University of Wisconsin chapter of the Black Student Union was charged with theft of approximately $1,400 of the student group’s funds.

The president of the BSU, a UW junior at the time, also was charged with knowingly obstructing an officer while conducting official business.

Christopher Loving, 21, is accused of withdrawing $1,395.68 in cash for personal uses from the student organization’s First Federal account. As president, Loving had sole control of BSU’s checkbook and controlled the bank account’s activity.


The charge Loving faces — theft in a business setting equal to or lesser than $2,500 — is a Class A misdemeanor, and could include a nine-month prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.

The alleged obstruction charge stems from an incident where a UW police officer questioned Loving of possible fund misappropriations and knowingly lied to the policeman.

The charge of obstruction is also a Class A misdemeanor and carries a similar punishment of maximum imprisonment of nine months and a $10,000 charge.

Loving later confessed to spending about $1,500 of the union’s money on personal expenses, according to the criminal complaint.

Loving missed his initial appearance in court Monday, Aug. 30. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Loving was yet to be apprehended as of Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Roxanne Allison, UW assistant director of admissions and advisor of the BSU, said she first became curious of fund misappropriations when performers from BSU functions requested payment for their services. Allison said she already thought the bills were handled. Allison then said she tried to contact Loving but had difficulty reaching him.

Loving did come in after several weeks of attempted contact in July, when an UWPD officer John Deering questioned him, according to court documents.

Loving reported to Deering he did not spend any organizational money for personal effects or unrelated items. He did say, however, he could get a private donor to pay the remaining unpaid bills.

Allison, who has recently worked with the BSU and Loving, said she did not expect this from the UW student.

“I really was not prepared for this,” Allison said in a phone interview. “He is a nice person, he did a lot of good work … we are really dismayed that this happened and surprised that it was him.”

Allison added Loving was “pretty good at camouflaging” his actions.

The BSU relies largely on funds it raises through different organized events and socials, such as roller-skating parties, dances and a ball.

The last time the BSU requested funds from student segregated fees was Feb. 23, 2003, when the Associated Students of Madison’s Finance Committee awarded the union an event grant of $250 for journalist Eugene King to lecture in Madison — months before the First Federal checking account opened in December of 2003.

Lori Berquam, Associate Dean of Students, was involved in the investigation, led by UWPD detective Brett Fernholz.

Berquam hopes Loving’s actions will not deter students from getting involved in student organizations, and the BSU in particular.

“I think it’s unfortunate the actions of one person can affect the group,” Berquam said. “It’s a situation that people won’t remember in a couple of years, [and] I would think that students will still want to get involved.”

Allison echoed Berquam’s sentiment. She noted the action of one individual does not reflect on the group.

Allison said the BSU will now begin to restructure and reevaluate some of its financial policies. The creation of a checks-and-balances system for finances is a possibility.

“The [new executive] board is committed to repaying the outstanding debts,” Allison said. She added she is confident the new hierarchy of members will have better communication skills and will “serve their organization.”

Allison also added the union did not have a treasurer due to the group’s success last year and the fast pace the organization was running.

She did admit a treasurer could have quickly picked up that funds were misappropriated.

Though his actions may put a small ding in the organizational armor, Allison did not know why the former president took any money.

“If you wanted to know why, you’d have to ask him,” Allison said, continuing to say she hopes Loving recovers from the situation. She added, “You can’t just do this in college.”

Loving could not be reached for comment.

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