CWC appeared in front of SJ Feb. 9 to convince the court it was subject to viewpoint neutrality violations from Student Services Finance Committee members during its eligibility hearing last semester.
The case concerned whether a viewpoint neutrality violation could be applied to CWC’s appeal. The case did not apply as to whether SSFC members were viewpoint neutral, the decision said.
According to SSFC Secretary Matt Manes, Vice Chair Michael Romenesko and Manes had the opportunity to rehear CWC for eligibility twice, and both times the members did not motion to rehear SSFC.
Part of the court’s decision also determined that Romenesko and Manes’ inaction to rehear was not a viewpoint neutrality violation, as alleged by CWC.
If the decision had been ruled in CWC’s favor, they may have been allowed to appeal for eligibility.
In their appeal to SJ, CWC said Manes was unfriendly and prematurely decided against eligibility in a “retaliatory” nature because CWC’s multiple appeals created more work for SSFC. The court did not support these allegations.
The court ruled Manes had taken in enough information and met with the group outside the hearings to make an unbiased decision.
In the Feb. 9 appeal, Associated Students of Madison Secretary Kurt Gosselin acted as legal counsel to SSFC and said if every group used the term “viewpoint neutrality” to receive a hearing from SJ, it would almost be a “magic word.”
The court’s decision echoed these sentiments, saying a group could be granted an appeal just because of “vocabulary choice.”
The decision was cited as a matter of precedence so in the future other groups cannot use the bylaw which states all cases involving a viewpoint neutrality violation must be heard by SJ.
“I don’t feel like I violated anything and I think the process worked itself out,” Manes said.
Tina Trevino Murphy, program director of CWC, said she felt the hearing turned into an appeal her organization did not come prepared for as opposed to the evidentiary hearing set in the agenda and she was not satisfied with the general proceedings of the case.
Trevino Murphy said she will do whatever it takes to get funding for CWC, and the next step to get funding will be to go directly to Chancellor Biddy Martin.