The Student Services Financial Committee approved two student organization budgets Thursday — F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture and Wunk Sheek — after cutting both by 7 and 5%, respectively.
The Latinx student organization Mecha also introduced their programming, designed to be more identity-inclusive.
The organization’s core programs include the celebration of cultural roots, Mes de las Racis and a focus of cultural learning through art, CulturArte. The organization also launched a new core program specifically dedicated to Latinx women’s month called Mes de la Muxer.
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The organization, which has been around since the 70s, officially changed its name in 2020 from the original acronym MEChA to be more inclusive of different identities, Mecha Financial Director Laura Cárdenas said.
“We have continuously branched out of just Latinx and Chicanx identities, but because the Latinx identity is so diverse that’s kind of why we decided to branch out and why we got rid of Mecha as an acronym,” Cárdenas said. “We think that it’s really important to have these conversations … on our campus.”
Cárdenas said the organization works with the UW BIPOC Coalition through attending their events as a way for the organization to reach outside the Latinx community. In the budget portion of the hearing, Mecha requested a total of $49,772.50 for their programming, salaries and other items in the fiscal year 2022.
Cárdenas said this is a decrease by a couple hundred dollars from their current approved budget. SSFC will vote on the proposed budget next Monday.
SSFC also approved the budgets for both F.H. King, an organization which promotes sustainable agriculture and battles food insecurity on campus, and Wunk Sheek, an Indigenous student organization. SSFC approved F.H. King’s budget after committee members cut the weekly hours down for seven of the organization’s positions and part of their advertising budget.
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SSFC Vice Chair Grace D’Souza proposed the majority of the amendments to cut the budget of F.H. King salaries, citing an analysis of the organization’s previous salary numbers in comparison with other campus organizations.
The committee did not pass one amendment that would have cut the transportation budget for F.H. King students to other local farms and agricultural experiences in Madison.
“I feel like accessibility to the farm is already a problem that F.H. King has,” D’Souza said. “The farm is an incredible educational resource and it really serves their mission, except the problem is getting students there and I feel like that’s the space in which F.H. King is lacking most in providing services to their students.”
The requested budget amount of $82,085 was decreased to $76,163 — a total decrease of 7.22%.
After making some adjustments to the Wunk Sheek budget, the SSFC committee reduced the proposed $34, 517.50 to $32,824.50 — a total decrease of 4.9%.