Paying for incompetence

When the Student Services Finance Committee is not losing lawsuits in federal court, it is distributing millions of student dollars to student services and organizations. Given the delicate legal environment in which fees are distributed, the student representatives in charge of the committee are paid several thousand dollars to oversee the process.

You would think officials being paid that much student money could be expected to know the basic rules governing their organization.

Rules like open information laws.

Sadly, that’s not the case.

Wisconsin state law unambiguously states that student government budget requests be available to anyone interested – and we’re interested.

Yet earlier this week, SSFC officials not only refused to release this year’s student organization budget requests packet after wrongly classifying it as confidential, but publicly blasted those representatives who followed the law and shared the information.

The packet in question details the budget requests of about two dozen student groups totaling approximately $3.3 million (they won’t tell us how much, exactly) and is a vital document for holding student government accountable.

Such uninformed and illegal behavior from paid student government officials is inexcusable. Students have the right to know how their money is spent, especially when SSFC officials are about to raise their tuition.

Paid officials who are denying this right are not only abusing the law but also the seg fees used to pay them.

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This article was published Oct 3, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Oct 3, 2001 at 12:00 am

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