Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


SSFC denies WISPIRG funds for 2nd time in school year

WISPIRG Chair Rashi Mangalick tells SSFC the denial of funds is wrong, adding WISPIRG will appeal the decision to Student Judiciary.[/media-credit]

Despite efforts to prove it met funding eligibility criteria, student government denied funding to the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group for the second time this year.

The Student Services Finance Committee denied WISPIRG funding for the 2011-2012 fiscal year after the Student Judiciary ordered the SSFC to provide WISPIRG another funding eligibility hearing.

The committee denied WISPIRG General Student Services Fund funding last semester after the committee found WISPIRG’s direct service did not primarily target students, and SSFC’s decision was appealed to the Student Judiciary.


Last week, SSFC held another funding eligibility hearing for WISPIRG in which the organization refined the definition of its direct service, which WISPIRG members defined as the experiential learning students get through training sessions the organization offers. 

During this week’s meeting, WISPIRG members provided the committee with more information regarding the structure of its program and more specific information about how they implement their direct service.

WISPIRG members gave a demonstration of what a typical training session looks like for the committee in order to give them a better idea about the procedure WISPIRG uses.

Committee members were still not convinced experiential learning could be considered a direct service.

SSFC Chair Matt Manes said a direct service must be a program, which SSFC defines as a planned activity offered by the group.

However, experiential learning is the outcome of a program, Manes said, and the two potential programs the group offered to provide experiential learning were their campaigns and their programs.

SSFC Secretary Jason Smathers said a direct service must benefit students who are not participants of the organization.

“You cannot be a participant or a direct member of that group and receive the direct service of that group,” Smathers, former editor-in-chief of The Badger Herald, said.

Since many training sessions equip students with the tools to work on WISPIRG campaigns, those students are participants in the organization and are not independent from the group, Smathers said.

Representative Sarah Neibart said she did not understand how WISPIRG could be eligible for GSSF funding because it only endorses campaigns in accordance with its mission.

“A campaign is not a direct service because it is not tailorable to an individual student,” Neibart said.

She added since much of WISPIRG’s mission focuses on working on campaigns and little time is spent on training students, which could be considered a direct service, WISPIRG should not receive funding.

WISPIRG Chair Rashi Mangalick said she thought the reasoning behind the committee’s decision was ridiculous because WISPIRG had clearly outlined their program.

She added WISPIRG will appeal the decision to the Student Judiciary again. Manes said he expected SSFC’s decision to be upheld if WISPIRG does appeal.

SSFC also held a hearing for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan because of a policy violation committed by turning in their GSSF mid-year report late.

This is MEChA’s fourth official SSFC policy violation this year, Manes said.

The group discussed temporarily freezing funds for the group, which effectively crippled the group’s finances for that period of time. The majority of members agreed a monetary charge would be a better, less severe punishment.

The committee will discuss the punishment further next week.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *