The Student Services Finance Committee, a subcommittee of the Associated Students of Madison, gathered Monday to review budget alteration proposals and discuss strategies for policy analysis.
Two student organizations, the People’s Farm and the Student Leadership Program, proposed alterations to their budgets for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
According to their budget alteration request form, The People’s Farm requested that funds originally appropriated by SSFC for vehicular expenses — primarily pertaining to farm equipment — be reallocated to the organization’s per diem meal allowance, pending higher-than-expected hotel rates and food prices at this year’s Organic Farming Conference.
The Student Leadership program also proposed an alteration to their 2023-24 budget, requesting that previously approved funds for other line items be transferred to cover the cost of a paid speaker at their Organizational Management Summit in April, according to their budget alteration request form.
SSFC approved both proposals unanimously.
After the committee settled the budget alterations, Chair Quinn Wakely introduced members to the concept of an alternatives matrix, a tool used by the committee to facilitate policy review. The alternatives matrix grades existing policy and proposed policy against four criteria — efficiency, equity, political feasibility and political ease on an informal scale of “very good” to “very bad.”
Wakely stressed the committee’s emphasis on creating policy that scored especially highly on efficiency and equity scores.
“One of the most important criteria in our long term vision is efficiency,” Wakely said. Speaking about equity, Wakely added, “we want to make sure that our processes, our policies don’t put up undue barriers.”
The policy review preparation comes as Wakely hopes to make a thoughtful and productive examination of ASM and General Student Services Fund policies, according to representative Ryan Thiele.