Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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ASM incorporation moves ahead

The Associated Students of Madison voted to change bylaws that will subsequently create the ASM Foundation Hiring Committee Monday.

The committee will be given the task of hiring employees for the non-profit ASM Foundation, which would allow the organization to privately raise funds and receive private donations.

The Foundation Hiring Committee will be comprised of the chair of the nominations board, three student council representatives from ASM and three students who will be voted at-large onto the committee.

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The committee will be overseen by an appointed board of five students and five alumni. "This committee will essentially oversee a bank account," ASM chair Eric Varney said. "It will allow ASM to do many things."

Varney expressed his support of the resolution and said establishing such a committee would be "really positive" and "will increase student power."

The committee's initial plan was to move ASM staff employed by the Office of the Dean of Students to the foundation.

However, the university's administration has not complied with the proposal and will continue to talk with ASM to consider other alternatives.

Though ASM will have significant influence in the foundation, it will not have direct control, as elected ASM members will be prohibited from joining the committee.

Student Judiciary Chief Justice Emeritus Nate Romano also answered questions from ASM representatives about the benefits of the hiring committee.

Romano explained ASM funds raised without a foundation would require the organization to go through state account procedures and regulations.

If ASM raised its funds through the foundation, it would require fewer procedures because the foundation will set its own bylaws on fundraising, Romano said.

"This isn't being done to support a political ideology," he said. "There is a focus entirely on the students and what the students need."

ASM hopes to use fundraiser money to eventually lower segregated fees and even implement new programs, such as a textbook-rental program or a campaign to increase voter turnout.

"It's going to allow us to use money in ways we weren't able to before," Varney said.

Some ASM members were concerned with the accountability of the committee and the university's ability to check the committee's power.

Yet Romano said there would be no "dominance of the alumni" on the committee's board because the board's five students will balance alumni influence.

Varney said the creation of the committee and the foundation will "separate [ASM] a little from the university" and "give [ASM] a little more power."

Romano explained if the resolution passes, the committee will aim to set its bylaws by the end of 2005 and then be incorporated at the beginning of 2006.

According to ASM bylaws, the resolution must be passed twice before the committee can be established.

However, Varney hopes the establishment of the committee and the foundation will only help the student body.

"I don't think anything detrimental will come from this for students," Varney commented.

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