The Student Services Finance Committee approved budgets for WSUM, Greater University Tutoring Services, UHS, Wisconsin Unions, Recreation and Wellbeing, Transportation Services and Child Care Tuition Assistance Program.
The committee approved WSUM’s budget for the 2021 fiscal year with a vote 10-0-1. There were no changes made to the budget by SSFC before approval.
Additionally, SSFC approved CCTAP’s budget with a vote of 10-0-1. Vice Chair Tessa Reilly said the budget didn’t have any issues.
“In regard to the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program, the Chair and myself found that overall there were no major concerns with the budget,” Reilly said.
Reilly read a statement from SSFC that said the committee approved RecWell’s budget despite the delay in Nicholas Recreation Center construction. The statement said while SSFC understands the delays were unforeseeable, the committee is disappointed the class of 2020 paid segregated fees that went towards the new gym, but did not get access to that facility as students.
In order to compensate for the delay, Reilly said students graduating in 2020 will be able to purchase gym memberships at a discounted rate and a plaque will be displayed in the Nick detailing the class of 2020’s financial support.
“The nature of nature of [the delays] does not excuse the financial disservice done to the students who have funded this project but will not reap its benefits,” Reilly said.
The committee approved UHS’s budget with a vote of 8-2-1. Secretary Grace D’Souza said the committee should work with UHS to address the committee’s concerns about mental health staffing and services.
Rep. Logan Knochenmus said the budget would result in a 2% increase in segregated fees for students and he is not content with the lack of clarity in some parts of the budget regarding mental health staffing and services. Rep. Roshan Verma said the committee should not approve the budget before showing they want to work with UHS to find a budget that would best meet students needs.
Rep. Jack Halama spoke about why he voted yes.
“We want to be able to keep fostering [UHS and SSFC’s] relationship and keep building it,” Halama said. “I think the best way to do that right now is to vote yes.”
The committee also approved the Transportation Services and Wisconsin Unions budgets with a vote of 10-0-1.
SSFC approved the Greater University Tutoring Service budget with a vote of 10-0-1. GUTS proposed a pilot program in their budget that would pay some tutors with the hope of improving outcomes for students using their services. Halama said the program may not fix the issues GUTS is facing and did not approve of the program.
“GUTS told us that some students were unhappy with the services that had been provided and the lack of commitment some tutors had shown trying to help students ” Halama said. “With that information, I find it irresponsible to simply throw money at the issue and expect that paying some tutors will fix the underlying issues.”
Chair Jordan Pasbrig said the committee would make a statement in the future regarding discontent with GUTS new pilot program.
The next SSFC meeting is Monday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.