The Black Voice presented their budget and requested a salary increase for the executive board members to the Student Services Finance Committee on Thursday.
The Black Voice is a student digital publication that offers a space for Black students at the University of Wisconsin to tell their stories, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Black Voice Chelsea Hylton said. Hylton presented the budget proposal for the organization.
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The Black Voice’s current staff consists of an executive board with eight members. Six of these current positions are getting paid for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, and the organization is planning to change the number of positions on the executive board from eight to six. They requested all six positions remain paid for the fiscal year and three positions remain paid for the summer of 2021.
The approved salary for The Black Voice was $18,018, but the organization proposed an increased salary budget of $21,798 for the next fiscal year with an additional $300 for fringes, making the total proposed salary $22,098.
Managing Editor for The Black Voice Enjoyiana Nururdin said the increased salary comes from the addition of three paid positions, and the extra funds will compensate the positions.
The Black Voice also plans on making additional changes to the administrative structure. Hylton said they currently have two EiCs and were planning on only keeping one for next year.
The Black Voice plans to replace the co-editor-in-chief position with a program manager. They also plan on converting the outreach coordinator position to the managing director.
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SSFC previously approved $25,200 for their core programs, which included The Black Voice launch party, the Black Journalists Matter convention, the Green Book publication and a writing lab.
Hylton requested a decreased amount of $16,400 for their new core programs next year, which would include the Black Journalists Matter event, the Green Book publication, a writing lab and a day trip to Chicago to visit Northwestern University.
Hylton said the number one priority for the budget was the salaries, followed by miscellaneous and then maintenance costs.
“We would like for our executive board members to be paid for their work and time that is put into … with getting familiar with the budget programming and the logistics of the organization,” Hylton said.
The Black Voice requested $48,998 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, a decrease from the previous year’s budget of $51,968.
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Vice Chair Grace D’Souza asked about how the organization calculated the proposed hourly rates per week.
Hylton said they proposed the hours based on what they have experienced in the previous year through the pandemic and regular operations. Hylton said the organization felt the hours correspond accordingly with each of the positions’ workload.
The budget decision for The Black Voice will be made at SSFC’s next meeting Nov. 9.