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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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SSFC reverses APAC funding decision

With dozens of supporters for the Asian Pacific American Council looking on, the Student Services Financial Committee voted to overturn a previous decision and grant APAC segregated student fee funding Monday.

Reversing a decision made Sept. 22, the SSFC decided 10-3 that APAC did indeed fulfill the funding eligibility criteria of providing a "significant additional campus service" — a requirement the committee previously believed APAC did not satisfy.

Last week, SSFC denied APAC funding because committee members believed the organization's services overlapped those of the Multicultural Student Coalition.

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"Upon the first presentation, some things were not clear," SSFC Representative Adam Schlicht said after the meeting. "But through future discussions, those ambiguities that made representatives not think that all criteria was fulfilled, made more sense."

The SSFC heard testimonials from various APAC advocates, who spoke passionately about unique services APAC provides students on the University of Wisconsin campus.

"[APAC] is something rare," UW student Ron Sung told SSFC representatives during his testimony. "[Asian Americans] don't have a strong, unified voice, and we're trying to get one."

As proof of its importance to the UW campus, Sung, along with the other speakers, said APAC's resources and support for many cultural student organizations help with the collective organization of events that educate the university community on the history and traditions of various Asian cultures.

The SSFC ultimately agreed with the APAC advocates and determined the council was eligible for student segregated fee funding.

The decision was not seamless. Dissenters of the SSFC decision did not believe APAC sufficiently answered the question of whether its services were significant and unique.

"Aside from programming, there are no additional services," SSFC Representative Zach Frey said during SSFC debate on APAC's eligibility. "Tons of organizations provide programming."

The issue of racism was also raised during the debate, as many SSFC representatives questioned whether APAC was being judged by the same criteria as other cultural student organizations.

"What does the JCC [the Jewish Cultural Collective, which was granted funding eligibility last Thursday] do that APAC doesn't?" Schlicht asked his fellow committee members. "It's important our interpretation of the 13 criteria [to be eligible for funding] remain the same for all organizations."

APAC advocates speaking before the committee also voiced concern that the previous decision was influenced by race.

When SSFC Representative Barbara Kiernoziak asked APAC representative Maiger Moun if she felt like the committee had applied different criteria to APAC "because of the way you looked," Moun answered, "To be honest, yes."

APAC representatives felt "relieved" by the SSFC's approval of funding.

Ron Sung was excited about the possibilities the funding will provide.

"I want to have a New Year's parade down State Street, with the dragon and everything," Sung said. "Every city has one besides Madison."

Sung added the funding will help Asians become more comfortable at UW.

"This city doesn't support the Asian community," he added. "But the university is in position to change that."

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