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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


SSFC approves Wisconsin Black Student Union’s budget, hears from Live Free

Live Free representatives said finding designated space is high priority
Gerald Porter

At Monday’s Student Services Finance Committee, Wisconsin Black Student Union’s budget was approved, and Live Free, an organization dedicated to the well-being of students in recovery delivered their budget presentation.

Wisconsin Black Student Union budget

WBSU President Marquise Mays began the meeting by clarifying information regarding the National Black Student Union. To be a chapter within the union, Mays said the organization would be required to pay a $250 annual fee. If the group decides to attend the union’s national conference, WBSU would send four members, but the group would see a $25 discount per member.

SSFC Vice Chair Brett DuCharme proposed a motion to remove the $250 membership fee. He said in conversations he had with Mays that he didn’t hear sufficient justification for the request. Though SSFC ultimately approved WBSU’s budget, committee members shot down DuCharme’s motion.


“I don’t think this motion ought to go through,” SSFC Rep. Colin Barushok said. “We haven’t heard any convincing reason why we should deny their ability to be members of this national organization.”

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Natasha Thimmesch, a SSFC representative, agreed with Barushok and said it would be vital for the black community to have an opportunity to take part in national conversations.

With black students making up around 2 percent of the campus demographic, it would be important to utilize the knowledge taken away from the conference in order to share with the campus, she said.

DuCharme’s motion failed with resounding disapproval from the committee.

The committee later approved WBSU’s main budget of $26,275.55 in a vote of 8 to 0 with 1 abstention.

Live Free presentation

Live Free’s total proposed budget is $85,393 and the group began their presentation with highlighting their “big three” core necessities.

Group representative Travis Fearing said the three things — people, places and things — are resources that are “absolutely imperative” for a comprehensive collegiate recovery program.

Breaking down their request of $36,153 for staff salaries, the two largest salaries were for the organization’s co-chairs.

For their “things” budget, which revolved around programming, Live Free Co-Chair Carter Kofman said the proposed budget was $14,440 and consisted of events such as a fall film festival, spring speaker and the attending of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education conference.

But the organization’s concerns for a group meeting space was one of the most prevalent topics of their presentation.

“It’s the biggest single purpose line item. As we mentioned, there’s a lot of research that says one of the three most critical elements is having a space,” Live Free representative Vanessa dellaBitta said. “We understand it’s a little more complicated to ask for an off-campus rental, but we are looking into our options.”

The organization currently holds their meetings in Pres House, but Fearing said their own space would be better than the hassle that comes with meeting at this location.

dellaBritta said the problem with the Pres House lounge is that residents can unintentionally interrupt by walking through meetings. She said they’re currently applying for Student Activity Center space.

Barushok asked if Live Free would take the SAC space if they were to get it instead of an off-campus rental, to which all organization representatives responded “absolutely.”

The committee will make a decision on Live Free’s budget proposal at their next meeting.

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