[media-credit name=’BOBBY BREITENBACH/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′][/media-credit]Badger Catholic asked the Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee last night for a budget decrease of more than $40,000 in an effort to focus its efforts on important projects and be more fiscally responsible.
The student organization’s original budget of $160,585.80 — approved by SSFC in the fall — was reopened at Monday’s meeting. The new budget calls for the removal of several programs and a new budget of $120,359.44.
“We’ve been reevaluating where Badger Catholic is going, and we’ve seen a lot of it starting with our leaders getting burned out with the programs we’ve had,” Badger Catholic Chair Megan Schmitz said. “We found this year we’re not putting [programs] on to the capacity they should be being put on with, so we are re-narrowing our focus.”
Schmitz said the budget reevaluation stemmed from student requests for more focused and better conducted events.
The committee also hopes the change will reach students more effectively, specifically students of different backgrounds.
In order to narrow its focus, Badger Catholic plans to remove all welcome barbeques and retreats and remove the freshman pizza party hosted in the beginning of each school year from the yearly agenda.
Badger Catholic would also like to decrease total salary payments by almost $15,000 and decrease advertising funds by about $2,000.
The group will also focus its efforts on an evangelical intensive training workshop to train four pastoral interns, six peer interns and two student event coordinators.
The group looks to allocate more than $4,800 to this program.
“We need to prepare and equip these leaders for personal issues, psychological (issues) and family things that come up during advising,” Schmitz added. “To not equip these leaders would really be a disservice for the campus. These people will also be bringing back what they have learned and teaching people who couldn’t attend because of the cost.”
Although the final budget decision has not yet been made, SSFC Chair Carl Fergus said he supports the new direction Badger Catholic is moving in.
Fergus added the move would help eliminate past animosity between Badger Catholic and ASM due to a standing lawsuit over denied general student services funding last year.
According to Fergus the group was denied funding because it did not provide an identifiable educational service to the students.
“They are moving towards a student services focus instead of a large-scale event focus, (and) they’ve shown that it’s much more focused on fiscal responsibility and directly providing a service to the entire campus.”
The budget proposal will be brought before the Student Council today. The SSFC will make final amendments and vote on Badger Catholic’s final budget on Thursday.