The Associated Students of Madison passed a budget alteration to host the Association of Big Ten Students conference and discussed student employees’ wages Wednesday night. 

The meeting started with the discussion of raising the minimum wage for student employees and how much ASM is able to allocate toward the increase in wages across campus. Rep. Jack Phillips advocated for a raise in student employee wages to $15 an hour.

Phillips said this was the morally acceptable amount for students to live off of. UW implemented a $15 minimum wage for university staff in January 2021, but this increase did not apply to temporary positions or student employees. 

“I think from a moral standpoint that $15 an hour is a minimal morally acceptable hourly rate to be paying,” Phillips said.  “I think that it is our duty as ASM to make sure that all student workers are making at least that as soon as possible.” 

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SSFC Rep. Kevin Jacobson spoke at the meeting’s Open Forum about how money from the student government’s reserves could be used to increase wages and address students’ needs accordingly.

Jacobson advocated for ASM to change the bylaws to increase wages so that SSFC can break the budget. 

“I feel as though it is my responsibility on the Student Services Finance Committee to ensure that every single dollar that we charge students is used effectively and to the best of the ability that we can,” Jacobson said. 

Vice Chair Lennox Owino introduced a separate internal budget alteration during the meeting. The budget alteration would provide funds toward the Association of Big Ten Students, a conference where other Big Ten Universities’ student governments come together.

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The conference allows students to collaborate with other members of Big Ten student government and create collective action on issues that will improve student life at the involved campuses, according to the alteration. UW will host this year’s upcoming conference. 

The alteration introduced by Vice Chair Owino asked ASM representatives to move $4,000 from their “General Travel” budget toward “General Programming” funds so ASM can shoulder the financial burdens associated with hosting the Big Ten conference. The budget alteration was unanimously approved.

Rep. Eliza Donnelly also introduced new legislation to appoint someone to the vacant chair for ASM’s College of Engineering division. Donnelly appointed Estella Torgerson to fill the position. The appointment passed unanimously. 

The meeting also included Reports of Standing Committees and Boards, Chair Reports and the appointment of Rep. Jack Bybel to the Nominations Board.