The Student Services Finance Committee rejected the funding eligibility for the student group Vets for Vets Monday, after deciding the group did not meet adequate criteria.
For a student group to receive funding, their direct service must be the primary focus of the group and must also be aimed at reaching all university students.
Most SSFC members agreed Vets for Vets provides two distinct services, counseling to student veterans and outreach efforts like bringing in speakers on veterans’ issues. However, there was disagreement between members as to whether the two services satisfied the criteria needed to receive funding.
SSFC Vice Chair Adam Porton said he did not believe Vets for Vets met the funding criteria because the group does not necessarily benefit the majority of students.
“The fact that someday, somebody could potentially become a veteran, yes, they could be helped by it,” Porton said. “But it targets a specific population, and unless everyone is a veteran, they’re not really getting helped by it.”
SSFC Secretary Carl Fergus also argued against granting Vets for Vets funding. He said while he believes the counseling service could be an educational tool for all students, he did not believe “that education in itself constitutes a service.”
Several SSFC members disagreed with the ultimate decision, including representatives Joseph French and Zorian Lasowsky.
French said he believed the one-on-one counseling provided by Vets for Vets is a direct service that meets the criteria because it is open to all university students.
“Veterans have different backgrounds than students, but that doesn’t mean that they are receiving anything different,” Lasowsky added. “In that way, I don’t think we can say it’s not benefiting all students.”
In addition to the eligibility decision for Vets for Vets, SSFC also held eligibility hearings for Promoting Awareness and Victim Empowerment and Student Leadership Program, a group dedicated to meeting leadership needs on campus.
According to PAVE Chair Ally Cruickshank, the group seeks to prevent sexual assault and dating violence through education and skill building. She said PAVE uses education and outreach activities such as hosting speakers and holding workshops to inform students.
“The ultimate goal is to prevent violence before it begins,” Cruickshank added.
SSFC was also scheduled to vote on the eligibility of WSUM radio station, but they voted to postpone the decision until Thursday due to a possible conflict in the type of fund WSUM may be eligible for.
If granted funding from SSFC, the minimum amount any group can receive is $4,650.