A branch of the University of Wisconsin student government voted to grant funding to the Multicultural Student Coalition for a co-sponsorship of another organization’s event to take place next week.
In a meeting Thursday night, the Student Services Finance Committee decided to fund a co-sponsorship for a spring Powwow event for Wunk Sheek because the request for funding was submitted by MCSC prior to SSFC’s recent decision to freeze MCSC’s funding.
SSFC Chair Sarah Neibart added the committee also did not wish to punish Wunk Sheek for the actions of MCSC.
SSFC Rep. David Vines agreed and said he thought it was the right thing to do.
Neibart said Associated Students of Madison Student Council’s decision to reinstate MCSC’s budget eligibility Wednesday has no effect on SSFC’s process. She added it does not and would not affect her committee’s decision to freeze the organization’s funding.
SSFC Rep. Justin Gerstner commended his fellow committee members during the meeting for maintaining their professionalism throughout the entirety of MCSC’s eligibility process. He added that the decisions the body makes and debates are not easy ones.
MCSC’s budget is now in the hands of a conference committee, Neibart said. The committee is comprised of Neibart and Student Council Chair Allie Gardner, with each given an additional three committee members to produce for the committee.
The eight-member conference committee is responsible for making decisions regarding the approval of the MCSC budget. MCSC has proposed a budget of $1.27 million.
SSFC also made changes to its member job description after receiving complaints from General Student Services Fund groups that committee members were being disrespectful. Complaints alleged some SSFC members at times did not pay attention to speakers and were instead on their computers reading emails and checking Facebook.
“I’ve heard people in this committee say I ignore people speaking in open forum, … and that is not okay,” SSFC Secretary Ellie Bruecker said.
Bruecker proposed a piece of legislation that would disallow the use of computers during open forum and during group presentation unless committee members showed their notes to the SSFC chair. However, her proposal was met with opposition.
Committee members expressed concern that the proposal was not an appropriate solution to the problem. Rep. Laura Checovich noted that most members utilize their computers as a positive resource and not as a distraction.
Gerstner said the proposed solution was so general that it did not address the problem but merely limited resources, but he did agree that the issue needed addressing.
Rep. Ron Crandall said he thought the issue was a simple one.
“This is a classic argument of whether or not we need parental controls because people are being naughty. … People just need to stop being naughty,” Crandall said.
Ultimately SSFC voted to amend the proposal to be less restrictive, stipulating just that members be respectful with technology.
During SSFC’s final meeting of the school year Monday night, the committee will vote on changes that would impact the accountability liaison position. The liaison is responsible for supervising GSSF groups.
Vice Chair Chase Wilson said his goal is to have accountability liaisons “fully trained, ready with a schedule and a calendar when the semester starts so they can hit the ground running.”