The University of Wisconsin’s student government finance committee continued its funding eligibility process Thursday, hearing requests from a new student organization and an organization that has faced controversy in the past.
The Student Services Finance Committee heard eligibility presentations from Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow, which was denied funding for the 2011-2012 fiscal year after SSFC ruled the non-profit had failed to return SSFC-owned equipment, violating UW’s financial policy.
CFACT appealed the decision to the Student Judiciary, which ultimately sided with SSFC and said the student government did not hold any personal biases against the organization. The organization works to promote environmental stewardship.
The decision ended up in federal court when CFACT argued the student government should not have denied eligibility because the organization argued the policy violation was invalid. The court sided with SSFC and found no viewpoint neutrality violations.
While CFACT is being considered for eligibility for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the organization has ben bared from eligibility for the past three fiscal years. It is hoping the funding will allow the organization to address the needs and requests of all students.
“We found out we weren’t able to meet the needs of all students,” CFACT Rep. Patrick Sullivan said. “We had to turn some students away because we didn’t have the resources.”
According to Sullivan, CFACT is expecting 175 interns this coming year. The organization, which has dealt with more than 100 interns in previous years, will be dealing with the high number of interns with increases in staff positions, coordinators and members on the board.
Sullivan said the organization would also begin to hold office hours to take requests for advocacy trainings and other direct services provided.
MLW, a group newly recognized as a registered student organization in the past week, also presented on its Warrior Training Program to the committee.
According to MLW Financial Officer Matt Manes, the Warrior Training Program is the sole focus of the organization.
“We exist entirely to provide this warrior training program,” Manes said.
According to Manes, the program is an effort to educate on the history of combat, encourage healthy lifestyles and instill a sense of honor and morals that will ultimately develop further leadership skills.
Manes added the program incorporates both academic instruction and a “hands-on” component with weapons training.
In an effort to keep warrior history alive, Manes said, the academic instruction is a required component of the program and cannot be disregarded in a student request.
Manes said with a focus on warrior gender roles, which he said is an important aspect of warrior history, the program hopes to attract both male and female students.
He also added the organization is expecting a diverse group of participants with students of all cultural backgrounds.
“We want to be a small number of students who serve the campus as a whole,” Manes said. “We want to get as many students as possible, from as many backgrounds as possible.”
According to Manes, the program will be limited to 20 students for safety reasons and will be offered only to student ID- carrying students.
Decisions for both MLW and CFACT will be released Monday. According to SSFC Chair Ellie Bruecker, next week will be the last week of eligibility hearing rounds, with the final two organizations presenting Monday.
Bruecker noted she was impressed with the committees’ performances in this year’s eligibility rounds.