The Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee voted Thursday to grant funding eligibility to the Muslim Student Association for the next two years and also conducted the internal budget hearing for SSFC.
SSFC voted 12-0-2 to extend funding eligibility to MSA. According to MSA’s website, the organization was founded at UW to provide Muslim students of all backgrounds a safe space that lays the foundation for a unified and proactive community embodying the core tenets of Islam by promoting and fighting for social justice, living a balanced and ethical lifestyle and helping those in need.
SSFC Vice Chair Zaakir Abdul-Wahid said that MSA had met all of the requirements for eligibility.
“One of the requirements that I think they flushed out very well was the emphasis on core over-support programming,” said Abdul-Wahid. “Also, I think they did a really good job explaining how the services that they offer are unique from other entities within the university.”
After the vote, Chair Jeremy Swanson presented SSFC’s budget request for the 2020 fiscal year. In total, the proposed budget of $177,566.22 would reduce spending by 7.5 percent from the previous fiscal year despite a mandatory wage change from $10.35 to $10.50 an hour that was agreed upon in ASM last year, according to Swanson. The budget for the 2019 fiscal year totaled $191,963.47.
Swanson said he believed the budget was in a safe spot to prepare for unexpected costs, while also assuring SSFC has been responsible with student’s funds.
“If we’re talking about fiscal responsibility, this is the epitome of fiscal responsibility,” Swanson said.
Notably, the newly proposed budget would reduce the unallocated budget by $7,500, a reduction of 50 percent. The unallocated budget is used to pay for expenditure requests which are correctly submitted but are not completed by the end of the fiscal year.
Swanson said unallocated spending has not exceeded $5,000 in at least five years and that unallocated spending totaled $0 in the past year.
SSFC would also reduce the proposed budget for fringe benefits, which would be reduced by $4,602.24 to $42,349.63 under the proposed budget. Fringe benefits, Swanson said, are historically difficult to predict, but the funding was based on the actual expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year, Swanson said.
Next week, SSFC will listen to a budget proposal from Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics.