The Student Services Finance Committee debated two other student organizations’ budgets along with their own, and discussed the zero-funding of the Student Veterans of America Thursday evening.
Enrique Peña, a representative from the SVA, requested a reduction in the salaries of the executive director, the marketing director, the office administrator and the outreach coordinator, and a reduction in the advertising budget.
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Last Monday, the SSFC reviewed the SVA’s application for funds this upcoming fiscal year and determined the SVA did not require additional funding to meet its yearly objectives.
Several SSFC committee members raised concerns the SVA may have been blindsided by a narrow deadline to appeal the SSFC’s decision. But other board members, including Rep. Anna Barry, said the SVA should assume the responsibility of appealing the SSFC’s decision.
“It’s up to them to appeal this decision,” Barry said. “It’s their responsibility.”
The SSFC began the meeting intending to move forward with zero funding the SVA, however, in the midst of budget negotiations for two student organizations, a lengthy debate over the merits of denying the SVA funds ensued. The committee agreed to postpone voting on the SVA’s future until Monday.
The SSFC proposed reducing the overall budget for Wisconsin Association of Black Men by 6.3% while also working to accommodate the WABM’s late budget submission. The WABM requested additional funds for a variety of services and activities, including the Black Male Initiative, an empowerment program for Black men.
The SSFC refused to accommodate the WABM’s request for funds for apparel for both the WABM kickoff and the Black Male Initiative, voting the measure down unanimously. Rep. Vanessa Rooyakkers voiced her concern with the WABM’s request, describing it as fiscally irresponsible.
“I fail to see why they need two lines of apparel,” Rooyakkers said.
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The SSFC also approved a budget of $62,884.50 for Badger Catholic, cutting wages for advertising, peer leadership positions, local transportation, marketing, supplies, Ignite Team leaders and hotel expenses.
The SSFC modified its own budget for the 2021 fiscal year, voting to request a budget of $175,556. The SSFC made significant cuts to its unallocated funds budget from the 2019 fiscal year to the 2020 fiscal year. In 2019, the unallocated funds budget was $15,000 and they spent 55.02%.
The SSFC halved its budget for the 2020 fiscal year and voted to maintain the same unallocated funds budget for 2021.
Chair Jordan Pasbrig acknowledged SSFC most likely would not spend all $7,500, but said the SSFC needed to have a large unallocated funds budget for the sake of covering any unexpected General Student Services Fund expenses, or expenses that might come up with the fund unpredictably which may need emergency funding.
“It’s a pretty hard expense to predict. It’s for the sake of the GSSF groups,” Pasbrig said.