It’s well known that the majority of this campus doesn’t really care how segregated fees are allocated by ASM. It’s also well known that Student Council doesn’t really have a clear purpose other than to be a check on ASM’s committees.
Tonight, members of this council without a purpose will consider the Campus Services Fund, a proposal put forth by SSFC Chair Matt Manes to change the way some groups get funding in a way most students don’t care about.
The CSF would streamline the funding processes for certain services on campus that ought not to be subject to viewpoint neutrality, such as Greater University Tutoring Services and the Rape Crisis Center. It would not affect the General Student Services Fund at all.
Manes’ proposal is a reasonable one, and it deserves the support of Student Council. Organizations like GUTS and the Legal Information Center, which provide a very direct service, should not need to jump through hoops every two years to receive funding.
The reason the CSF has been so hotly contested is pretty simple. Members of three organizations have raised concerns with it: the Multicultural Student Coalition, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztalan, and the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group.
On several occasions, their members marched into the Student Activity Center, vocalized that they weren’t involved in the decision making process for the CSF and told our student representatives that they were the student body and that they were pissed off.
Here’s the thing.
MCSC, MEChA and WISPIRG don’t represent the entire student body. Most of the student body is that kid from West Bend who lived on your floor freshman year and only knows ASM folk exists because their logo is on his bus pass.
MCSC, MEChA and WISPIRG get funding from segregated fees, so they have an interest in making sure the process stays the same to ensure they keep getting funding. And despite the fact that the CSF will not affect whether or not they get funding, they are afraid it is a slippery slope which will put their funding into question in the future.
The GSSF is flawed, and may very well need examination, and MCSC, MEChA and WISPIRG should be involved in the process to rework it. But that is not the debate Student Council is having tonight.
Members of the council, we urge you to tune out the noise being made by special interests and accept Manes’ proposal for what it is: a reasonable proposition.