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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


CFACT alleges violations

The University of Wisconsin student organization Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow filed a complaint with the Student Judiciary last week, accusing five Student Services Finance Committee members of viewpoint neutrality policy violations after the committee decided to minimum-fund the organization.

The complaint states representatives Barbara Kiernoziak, Tim Schultz, Kellie Sanders, Jennifer Knox and Lorenzo Edwards, Jr. had biased views when deciding the future of the group's funding and therefore tainted the committee's decision to minimum-fund the organization Nov. 15.

"We feel that the student laws were broken and that we were treated unjustly," CFACT administrative member Lindsey Ourada said.


Ourada, who wrote the complaint, added the most glaring problem during the organization's budget decision was the lack of decorum by some committee members.

"It was obvious if you were in the room that we were treated differently," she said. "Most of the members treated us with no respect whatsoever."

CFACT also claims the committee had an inordinately brief debate over the proposed budget of $385,921 before SSFC decided to minimum-fund the budget with only about $5,000.

"We're not asking for a full budget, we just want to be heard fairly," Ourada said.

SSFC Chair Rachelle Stone defended the amount of time the committee spent discussing the CFACT budget.

"I think debate is different with each group, and debate has been longer for some other budgets," she said. "But if the committee felt that this was the time needed for this particular budget then that was the committee's decision."

CFACT's minimum-funded budget is a contrast to the budget of the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group, a student organization with similar purposes, but identified by some as more liberal.

Ourada said she did not agree with SSFC's decision to minimum-fund CFACT while giving $123,209 to WISPIRG.

"I'd like to think that there [weren't] any personal issues," she said, but added, "As far as I know we have 54 interns, which is more than I've ever heard WISPIRG having. It doesn't make sense in my head."

Stone said committee members are taught to look at each budget separately and to not compare budgets.

"I don't think there's any mention of WISPIRG in CFACT's decision," she said. "I think the committee looked at the budgets separately even though [the organizations] may have had similar backgrounds."

Student Judiciary Chief Justice Nick Fox could not speak on the case, but had anticipated CFACT's complaint.

"The complaint was expected," he said. "There was no surprise to us that it showed up."

Fox said the judiciary planned to assign the case to a panel of three justices at their regular business meeting on Monday.

According to Fox, the hearing will be scheduled within a week and the justices will give a decision within five school days of the hearing.

Stone said she was interested to hear the judiciary's decision and how it will affect the student council's decisions on CFACT's budget Wednesday.

"I hope that both sides get to be heard and I hope SJ continues to do their job," she said. "SSFC will take it from there, whether we win or lose."

Ourada said she supports the student budgetary system, but was disappointed by the actions of specific committee members.

"I think that if there were different people in there, we wouldn't be having this situation," she said. "It's not a problem with SSFC in general — it's a problem with the specific people."

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