The Student Services Finance Committee heard an eligibility presentation from the Wisconsin Association of Black Men and approved the eligibility of Sex Out Loud in a vote of 6-0-4. 

Vice president of WABM Odai Lassey told SSFC their organization exists to support and provide resources to students on campus, including — but not necessarily limited to — black men. Outside of their general meetings, they have a men’s life group that meets biweekly to discuss topics and issues important to their lives and provide a space for members to safely express their emotions with each other, and they run an event called Communifit biweekly, where members can meet and get active together. 

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“We want every member that comes to our meetings to leave with a message,” Lassey said. “We want them to leave thinking ‘I want to go out there and make a difference on campus.’”

Lassey said the main obstacle WABM faced transitioning into the new semester was a legacy of miscommunication from their former executive board. Last year, the executive board turned in their midterm budget late, and several other instances of failed or near-late paperwork eventually caused their organization to be frozen for about a month. 

Lassey said five of the seven members of their executive board the prior year had been seniors, and they’d been preoccupied trying to find jobs and graduate, rather than hold meetings of the organization. He stressed the old executive board had transitioned, so the same issues wouldn’t continue. 

“That E-board is no longer who we are,” Lassey said. “We have transitioned into a new E-board. We have had no slip-ups or issues this year.”

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Vice Chair of SSFC Tessa Reilly asked about WABM’s efforts to be an inclusive organization, which Lassey had mentioned in the presentation. WABM secretary Shannon Jones II said they have a female on the executive board, which he hopes will demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity. Lassey said they also hope to collaborate with other organizations, so they can encourage students across campus, despite gender or race, to take part in their programming. 

Lassey said he plans to encourage members that aren’t black men to apply for executive board in 2020 to further encourage inclusivity and expand their perspectives as an organization. 

“The name is just the name, it’s something we inherited,” Lassey said. 

SSFC also voted to approve Sex Out Loud’s General Student Services Fund eligibility. The vote passed 6-0-4. Several members of the committee said they voted yes because Sex Out Loud met all eligibility criteria.