The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee voted to cut the budget for the Wisconsin Association of Black Men by $8,000 Monday.
The committee also received budget presentations from Wunk Sheek and FH King Students for Sustainable Agriculture.
WABM had requested a budget of $29,245. After various amendments proposed by the committee’s members, SSFC approved WABM’s budget of $21,911.50, a 25% reduction from the previous year.
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Rep. Vanessa Rooyakkers said many of the proposed budget cuts were made to reflect historical spending over the past two years where the organization did not fully use the funding available to them.
“This justification provides the basis for a lot of big amendments that I’m going to make tonight,” Rooyakkers said. “I think that one of the biggest hang-ups that I have is that our job as the SSFC is to evaluate how effectively this organization can spend the budget. I see the value in [the food budget] and I see how it can provide educational benefit, but I don’t see a demonstrated need over the past two years.”
In addition, the committee also cut back the WABM president’s paid working hours from 11 to eight hours per week and made reductions to WABM’s food budget.
Rooyakkers said organizations should be making their budgets as though the COVID-19 pandemic is not taking place.
WABM’s budget approval was followed by eligibility presentations by Wunk Sheek, an indigenous identity organization, and FH King, a sustainable agriculture organization.
SSFC will debate and vote on Wunk Sheek and FH King’s budget’s at a later meeting. SSFC will meet again Oct. 15 at 6:00 p.m. on Zoom.