The Associated Students of Madison Student Council passed legislation supporting student workers and heard special presentations from the Union Labor Council and American Civil Liberties Union Student Alliance, Tuesday night.
During their special presentation, ULC spoke to ASM about their appreciation for the collaboration and work ASM has done this semester, including calling for a Moral Restart and a $15 minimum wage for students.
Eleni Schirmer from ULC spoke to ASM about their Resolution in Support of Student Workers, which asks the university to not put budget deficit burdens on students and workers.
Schirmer asked ASM members to support the legislation because, though the university is facing budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, Schirmer argued UW still has enough funds to protect students and workers from additional financial hardships.
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Schirmer said because of the relationship UW has with creditors, UW has to pay debts first which causes tuition to rise and wages to drop. Despite these debts, UW has money available to them in their endowment, Schirmer said, but it is not favorable to their credit ratings to use it.
“What I want to draw our attention to tonight is that … there is actually quite a bit of money to be played with here if we’re willing to work together to push the administration to work to redefine some of these debt creditor relations,” Schirmer said.
ASM passed the legislation in support of student workers, calling on the university to put student needs first during the pandemic and provide payment continuation to students who are not able to work their student jobs at this time.
Then the UW ACLU Student Alliance gave a presentation about their current social media campaign called #UWgotgrievances, which brings light to concerns students have with the university.
Ananda Deacon from UW ACLU Student Alliance encouraged students who have concerns or complaints about the university’s handling of the pandemic or other issues to submit them to ACLU. Deacon said if University policies get updated or changed to address the grievances they share, they will delete the original post on their social media and post a statement of retraction to notify students of the policy change.
Additionally, ASM voted on legislation asking the university to make all classes asynchronous on election day to allow students to vote and work polls without being penalized or falling behind in class. Legislative Affairs Chair Robyn George introduced the legislation to the council.
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“ASM would encourage individual professors and academic staff to be mindful of student’s civic duties that embody the Wisconsin Idea by moving their classes to an asynchronous platform on November 3,” George said.
George said many students are signed up to be poll workers on Election Day or need time that day to vote or turn in their ballot. ASM passed the legislation unanimously.