The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee voted to minimally fund a student organization and continued budget hearings for this fiscal year, hearing budget proposals from two student organizations in a meeting Monday.
After tabling the budget decision at its previous meeting, SSFC approved a budget of $10,600 for the Multicultural Student Coalition for fiscal year 2013-2014. Denying the budget initially proposed by the organization by a vote of 5-9 mandated that SSFC minimally fund the organization at this level.
This comes after MCSC’s fight for funding last year, which ultimately resulted in the group gaining eligibility in a contentious decision made by the ASM Student Council. But SSFC voted to place a 52-week freeze on the group’s budget after four intentional policy violations surfaced.
According to ASM Press Director David Gardner, when an organization is minimally funded, it receives enough funds for one student position, office space and supplies. He said the funds allow the organization to continue to exist.
SSFC Rep. German Larrain said he supported minimally funding MCSC because he felt the organization had changed since the controversial eligibility decision made last spring by ASM Student Council to approve the group’s eligibility.
Before voting, committee members had amended the budget down to $137,156.32 from the initial budget request of $1,396,929.68 submitted by MCSC. However, some members still did not feel comfortable funding the organization at this level.
“I think we made a really good attempt to make this budget reasonable,” said SSFC Rep. Kyle Quagliana. “I don’t know what it would take for me to feel comfortable with this budget.”
The committee also heard a budget proposal of $136,662.29 from the Medieval Warriorcraft League, a student organization dedicated to promoting the understanding, instruction and practice of human combative behavior and performance. MWL will be entering its first year of GSSF funding in fiscal year 2013-2014.
MWL Finance Director Matt Manes recognized the $84,477.22 requested in the equipment line as constituting the majority of the proposed budget. He said this line was the highest priority because it allowed the organization to carry out its warrior training program, its primary direct service. He asked the committee to fund this line, if nothing else.
“Investment early on will keep long term costs down,” Manes said.
SSFC Chair Ellie Bruecker expressed concerns the rental spaces proposed for use by the organization do not permit the use of weapons. Manes said at this time he did not know what the organization would do if this became an issue.
Greater University Tutoring Services presented its budget of $174,968.20 for fiscal year 2013-2014 to the committee, highlighting the lines where it was asking for funding increases.
GUTS Co-Director Robin Matthies credited many of these increases to the new online tutoring program the organization is looking to launch in the upcoming fiscal year.
While there is no cost associated with creating the online program, Matthies said the $1,000-increase in the advertising line would be put toward promoting this new service. Additionally, the new program would require an additional paid position to be added into the salary line of the budget, she said.
SSFC will vote on whether to approve the budgets for GUTS and MWL at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 6.