Skimming through the newly revamped ASM Finance Committee website, the potential seg-fee abuses pour off the screen. Student groups come before ASM asking for everything from trips to Hawaii (which was denied) to Drag Shows and Balls (which was approved). For students interested in where our fees end up, the site (www.asm.wisc.edu/finance/) is worth visiting, although you’ll probably log off in disgust.
Indeed, the system is so vulnerable to a student uprising, seg-fee benefactors have united to drum up political support for their budgets. Their group, “Student Fee Defenders,” are planning a seg-fee sponsored event next month at Grainger Hall to rally support for their funding. Hence we have the conundrum — and this week’s seg fee abuse — of fees allocated towards self-preservation and promotion.
Admittedly, this event’s budget is trivial ($743) and we won’t lose any sleep over the waste. But, simply as a matter of principle, it’s worth objecting to.
This event should not receive student fees. Not just because it’s a waste of student money, but because the benefits of student fees should be obvious. The very fact that student fee defenders see the need to make their case, instead of letting the actions of student-fee funded groups speak for themselves, is disconcerting.
Furthermore, if promotion is necessary, the money should come from the budgets of the groups being promoted, not from students.
Indeed, this event only further emphasizes the lack of fiscal responsibility in student government. If the effects of seg-fee money aren’t seen, groups receiving seg fees should be held responsible. Extra spending cannot hide the need for massive overhaul of the system.