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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Student Judiciary to decide on CFACT’s eligibility in 2 weeks

Student Judiciary Chief Justice Katherine Fifield and Vice Chief Timothy Hogan try to find if CFACT is eligibile for money.[/media-credit]

The Student Judiciary will soon make a final decision on whether Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow will get a second chance at receiving funding after the student government appealed its initial decision. 

During the fall semester, the Student Services Finance Committee denied CFACT funding for the fiscal year of 2011-2012.

CFACT was denied funding for failing to return equipment owned by the Associated Students of Madison and intentionally violating an ASM equipment policy.


In November, CFACT appealed SSFC’s decision to the Student Judiciary, claiming the Associated Students of Madison made it impossible for CFACT to comply with the policy and that SSFC had made a non-viewpoint neutral decision in denying the group funding.

The Student Judiciary sided with CFACT, stating in the decision that “CFACT’s behavior (did) not rise to the level of an intentional violation of ASM or UW financial policies.”

The organization was granted another funding eligibility hearing in front of the SSFC by the panel.

SSFC appealed the panel’s decision in the case during a Student Judiciary meeting on Tuesday.

During the first hearing in front of the Student Judiciary, CFACT orally presented an argument that was not included as a question for panel in its brief, said Tyler Junger, SSFC counsel.

Junger said the group never asked the court to consider whether SSFC was correct in denying them funding for an intentional violation of ASM policy.

Junger added SSFC was not fully prepared and equipped to present an argument against CFACT’s argument because they did not know about it ahead of time and did not have proper time to prepare.

“I don’t think we were given a fair opportunity to present all aspects of the argument because they brought up, essentially, a new argument in the case,” Junger said.

Junger added the panel should have granted both groups time to prepare and scheduled another hearing.

Vice Chief Justice Timothy Hogan said most students outside of ASM do not necessarily understand how its legal proceedings work.

He added it is unreasonable to expect most students to be proficient in legal processes and case presentation. 

Junger also argued the panel had not outlined which actions constitute an intentional violation of policy in its decision, and this could potentially lead to future issues with student groups.

Junger also introduced two e-mails to the case as evidence CFACT had intended to keep ASM-owned equipment. 

The e-mails, which were between a CFACT directors and a several UW students involved in CFACT at the time, members of CFACT were given directions to keep ASM equipment, Junger said.

Christopher Neal, Student Judiciary outreach consultant, served as CFACT public defender during the appeal.

Neal said the snippets of the e-mails presented to the court in SSFC’s brief were taken completely out of context and the e-mails in their entirety show that CFACT had not intentionally kept the equipment.

Instead, the group was seeking assistance on how to go about the process and expressed their confusion in the e-mails, Neal said.   

“CFACT went through the proper process … and tried to set up ways to return the proper materials,” Neal said.  

A final decision on the appeal will be made in approximately two weeks.

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