Student Services Finance Committee met Monday night to discuss the Wisconsin Union’s 2020 budget.
The Wisconsin Union requested a 2 percent increase in their segregated fees budget, which is approximately $11 million, director Mark Guthier said. Guthier said this helps fund the permanent staff and student staff.
President Mills Botham said that the Union strives to be a place for the Madison community to congregate.
“We strive to be a campus community center not just for students but for general Madison community and staff,” Botham said.
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The 2 percent increase that is being requested is to help alleviate some of those fees from the university, Guthier said. The Union employs over 1,500 students, Botham said.
The increase will be used towards improving the Union locations, such as food and dining at Union South, where visitors have decreased.
The Union conducted a study at Union South to determine what they should improve, and students requested healthier food, including vegan and vegetarian options. The Union will implement new menus over the summer, which will include options for students observing religious dietary restrictions as well. The renovations will provide more outlets and chairs as well, Botham said.
“We hope to install ordering kiosks at our busiest locations so you won’t wait in line to order and pay,” Botham said.
Guthier said they plan to construct the Hoofer Mendota Dock along the Terrace. The dock will have floating piers, and a second dock will store sailing boats on the water, to replace the system to load boats onto carts and push them towards the water.
They also plan to renovate the Wisconsin Union Hotel over time. The goal is to do 30 rooms this year and 30 the next, Botham said.
The Union constructs their budget by combining the departments’ individual budgets, Botham said.
“There are about 70 individual budgets that come together. Each of the individual units produces their own budget. It’s very grassroots driven,” Botham said.
SSFC also approved the Rec Sports 2020 budget.