SSFC looks at 19 different criteria when deciding a group’s eligibility. If they fail one requirement, they cannot receive funding.[/media-credit]


Chair Matt Manes introduces SSFC

In an effort to prove their organizations are worthy of University of Wisconsin student dollars, members from two student groups made their case to the student government at Tuesday night’s eligibility hearings.

For a student organization to receive funding from the Student Services Finance Committee, it must prove to the committee it provides “direct services” to UW students with programs that are readily available and easily accessible to students,SSFC Chair Matthew Manes said.

More than 50 percent of the organization’s time must be dedicated to the planning and implementation of direct services and more than 75 percent of those who benefit from the organization must be UW students, according to Manes.

Student organizations request funding for the fiscal year following the year in which they apply. Student Leadership Program, an organization dedicated to the strengthening of individual leadership skills, received $66,108 in funding for the 2010-2011 academic year.

SLP’s four coordinators presented information about the organization’s 12 subcommittees, six of which they said provide direct services to more than 5,000 students every year.

During the question and answer session,SSFCcommittee members were particularly interested in determining how much time each coordinator spent on the planning and implementation of these direct services, since the coordinator positions are paid.

All four coordinators said although some of their time is spent on matters of logistics, a majority of their paid hours are spent on the programs that directly benefit UW students.

“We hope [SSFC] sees us as a valuable direct service to campus and that they are confident in funding a group that is a great support to students on campus,” Staci Taustine,SLP’s internal affairs and development coordinator, said.

Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, a student organization dedicated to preventing sexual and dating violence through education and activism, received $80,967 in funding for the 2010-2011 academic year.

“PAVE is one of the most necessary student orgs on campus. One in four women will experience rape or attempted rape during their time in college, so that means everyone in this room will know a survivor,” Claire Peterson,PAVEchair, said.

Manes said student organizations are determined eligible or not eligible for funding based on 19 specific criteria.

If an organization fails to fulfill just one of the requirements, it will not be found eligible.

Manes said this is a way to ensure that every organization is treated fairly.

“You can’t sit there and tell us how wonderful your group is or how amazing it is and beneficial to the community, because unfortunately, we’re subject to viewpoint neutrality and we cannot consider that,” Manes said.

Organizations are up for eligibility every two years, and if approved, present a budget toSSFCevery year.

Eligibility decisions for bothSLPandPAVEwill be announced Thursday, according to Manes.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting Badger Catholic presented an alteration to their 2010-2011 approved budget.

Nico Fassino, budget facilitator and chairperson of Badger Catholic, requested their budget be altered so more of their funding will go toward programs considered directly beneficial to students.