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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


USSA funding denied in ASM Internal Budget hearing

SSFC members debate various items for the ASM internal budget during Thursday’s meeting. Representatives were passionate on whether or not to fund USSA.[/media-credit]

Members of student government addressed the proposed Associated Students of Madison Internal Budget last night, ultimately cutting all proposed money for the United States Student Association.

The Student Services Finance Committee came to the decision after debating whether the University of Wisconsin should become members of the USSA or stay content with its United Council membership.

Opinions among members of the committee varied, with some representatives expressing a desire for UW to be a member of both organizations, but they faced opposition.


Rep. Tia Nowack said she felt the body should fund USSA because it would provide new pathways for students that UC does not have.

“I am definitely in favor of funding USSA. It is a great avenue for us to be able to give Madison students what they want,” Nowack said. “It is a direct connection to D.C., and USSA is able to work on federal issues that UC doesn’t always get to.”

Rep. Dan Posca disagreed with Nowack and said funding USSA would not be worth it or fiscally responsible.

Posca said while USSA provides the student body with a direct avenue to Washington, D.C., they would have more success lobbying legislators through the Big Ten rather than with USSA. He added SSFC can save students money by utilizing the United Council.

Rep. Laura Checovich agreed with Posca and said USSA may hurt UW’s reputation. 

“I have heard more than one allegation that USSA will be a stain on the reputation of the University of Wisconsin,” she said.

Other pieces the ASM Internal Budget SSFC addressed included a $100,000 request for alumni training, funding for a well-known commencement speaker and a $50,000 increase in funding for student organizations.

The proposed $100,000 increase for alumni training would allow student government to receive training from ASM alumni.

Representatives had varying opinions on the alumni training but decided to bring down the proposed increase of $100,000 to $9,194. The committee also decided the money should be placed in funding for general training instead of for alumni training.

“I think that it is imperative not to restrict training funds just to alumni training. The best way to be flexible with our money is to place it directly into general training,” Rep. Justin Gerstner said.

Funding for a world-class commencement speaker was also a point of debate, with varying opinions among representatives. 

The committee decided to zero fund the budget line item because the amount for the speaker was unreasonable.

“The value is just not high enough for the amount of time we would get with the world class speaker,” Checovich said.

The committee also turned down a proposed $50,000 increase for student organizations. One reason members cited was that there was already a $40,000 increase in the budget for student organizations last year.

SSFC also made other minor budget decisions which involved Big Ten on the Hill, travel grants and website hosting.

The current budget stands at $1,306,040.38.

The next SSFC meeting will be Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room of the Student Activity Center.

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