Although the numbers were unseen, the priorities for the Associated Students of Madison Student Council’s budget for next year took the forefront at Wednesday’s meeting.
The Finance Committee presented their report for the 2009-10 budget but no actual budget numbers were included in the report. Instead, it contained the possible options for focal points for the budget, as well as how to decide how much funding different areas should receive.
ASM Finance Chair Tim Fung presented the report and explained the committee divided the budget priorities into four main categories, including recruiting and training of members, funding for extracurricular activities, grassroots organization and advocacy and campus relations.
Legislative Affairs Chair Kevin Ott said he was dissatisfied with some of the budget priorities, including the emphasis on funding for ASM members.
“You can say what you want, but what it (the report) basically says is that we’re going to pay ourselves more,” Ott said. “We really need to consider where our priorities lie. Do our priorities lie with paying ourselves or with students?”
Although the budget contained no numbers, ASM Chair Brittany Wiegand said it reflects the changes ASM is going through.
“It’s the kind of mentality that we’re trying to change this year, you know, whether this thing is going to have more or less funding than it did last year,” Wiegand said. “We’re trying to establish priorities for ourselves as ASM.”
SC postponed voting on the budget priorities report until Nov. 5. They are due to present the report to the Student Services Finance Committee in early December.
ASM also approved the creation of a Campus Safety Initiatives Coordinator position. The coordinator will be appointed by SC and will report directly to SC about their progress and educate SC members about safety issues.
Wiegand said this position will be an opportunity for ASM to take an active role in campus safety.
“Campus safety is an incredibly important issue on our campus,” Wiegand said. “I think we’ve seen a lot of concerning things happen this year, and I feel that as student government of the University of Wisconsin we have to be doing something about this that will produce results.”
In addition to the coordinator position, SC approved a resolution to appoint three students to the Campus Safety Committee. ASM Vice Chair Hannah Karns, Stephanie Dar and Paul Davidsaver will be working with university officials on the committee.