The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee voted to approve WSUM’s budget in a meeting Monday night and also approved a letter to be sent to Chancellor Rebecca Blank explaining the committee’s decision on the Wisconsin Union budget.
Letter to the chancellor on Union budget freeze finalized
SSFC also voted to approve a letter to Chancellor Rebecca Blank which outlines the committee’s decision to freeze the Wisconsin Union’s budget for fiscal year 2015. If Blank approves their decision, it will be forwarded to the Board of Regents.
The letter, authored by SSFC Chair David Vines, expresses the committee’s concern about the transparency of the budget.
“[The Union] is classified as non-allocable budget so ASM can only make recommendations on the budget,” Vines said. “Two years ago they voted to freeze the budget, because they didn’t specify clearly how segregated fees were being spent. This past week the committee voted again to freeze the budget.”
Certain budgets, such as the Wisconsin Union are classified as non-allocable, meaning SSFC does not have the authority to make final budgetary decisions, but rather recommendations to the chancellor.
“The Union is mainly student life so the Union’s budget should be under control of the students,” Rep. Justin Bloesch said.
Earlier this year at January’s Union Council meeting, ASM appointees were given under an hour to debate a nearly $45 million budget, Vines said.
WSUM budget approved with increases for technology
SSFC approved WSUM’s proposal to increase their 2014-2015 budget by $9,141.42, bringing the total budget amount to $339,711.72. It was approved without any changes.
This increase will help fund new technology for the station, as the last time WSUM purchased new computers was in 2009.
The request for a budget increase also stems from damage to the WSUM transmission tower in 2013 caused by a lightening strike. Reconstruction and repair of the tower received most of the station’s funding last year.
“After learning about their need for technology and the repairs on the radio tower, the small increase was understandable,” SSFC member Thuy Pham said.