[media-credit name=’BEN CLASSON/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′][/media-credit]Members of the Student Judiciary ruled Monday that the committee's potentially illegal public hearing held late Sunday night was procedurally legitimate.
Representatives of the Associated Students of Madison could have challenged the meeting since the student court failed to properly notify the public 24 hours in advance of its meeting agenda.
Chief Justice Josh Tyack said the appeals meeting was mistakenly scheduled but needed to happen Sunday night for time reasons.
The Student Judiciary was scheduled to hear opinions from members of ASM and the UW Law School's Black Law Student Association, which filed litigation earlier this year claiming ASM violated viewpoint neutrality, due process and equal access to university funding regulations.
The student organization had been allocated $3,700 by the ASM Finance Committee toward a national convention trip, but that funding was later reduced by the Student Council to $600.
The student court had already delayed the appeal hearing and BLSA hopes to use the contested funding to register for the convention by the extended March 7 deadline.
After a closed session, the Student Judiciary voted 6-0 to legitimize Sunday's hearing. Tyack, who abstained from the vote, said he supported the group's decision because it corrected a mistake made by the Student Judiciary and the necessity to meet was immediate.
"Once again, I'd like to say I'm sorry for being the instigator of this boondoggle," said Tyack, who is responsible for scheduling the student court's meetings.
Tyack said he also approved the meeting because he said he cleared it through affected parties and there seemed to be no apparent objection.
Brandon Vaughn, a second-year UW law student who spoke on behalf of BLSA, said he was disappointed in the possibly illegal meeting but nonetheless supported the student court's decision.
"We find that the professionalism and lack of communication between ASM as well as the Judiciary Committee needs to be looked at," Vaughn said. "It is our effort that we all learn something from (this)."
Tyack said the Student Judiciary plans on delivering its official opinion on the case Wednesday.