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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


SSFC approves budget caps for student groups

SSFC Chair Ellie Brueker expressed her support for the budget caps of campus student organizations, adding it would lead to fewer viewpoint neutrality issues and more equality.[/media-credit]

The student government’s student fee allocation committee passed changes to its standing rules and a plan to cap student organization budgets in a meeting Monday night.

The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee passed amendments to several parts of the group’s standing rules and weighed the possibility of setting budget caps for student organizations that receive their funding through the General Student Services Fund. 

The main debate focused on the proposed caps set on the budgets of groups through the GSSF.
At a previous meeting held by SSFC, the proposed amendments were met with heavy backlash from numerous student organizations. 


SSFC proposed changes to the budgets of GSSF groups, limiting the groups to a $100,000 total budget, excluding the costs of professional staff and project assistantship costs which may not exceed $75,000. 

Within the allocated $100,000 of the budget, up to $70,000 could be allocated for student hourly positions and $15,000 may be used for events and travel, with no more than $5,000 of that amount going toward travel. 

Previously, it had been proposed that student hourly positions may not exceed $60,000, but the committee altered that part of the amendments.
In the prior meetings about the change, student organizations voiced their opposition to the proposed amendments, saying it would force groups to cut back on certain areas within their organizations that are necessary for them to function. 

Several representatives from these student organizations showed up once more to express their concerns on the proposed changes. 

Robin Matthies, co-director of Greater University Tutor Services, said the organization would lose a significant amount of money that goes toward its student employees and would be forced to cut several positions if the legislation was approved.

While nothing was changed from the proposals that had been previously announced besides the amount allocated for student salaries, the committee debated the rest of the proposal. 

The most heavily debated component of the legislation was the need for an overall cap on the budget. 

Jonathan Harris, SSFC secretary, said if organizations max out all the minor caps placed on student wages, travel and events, the proposed budget cap would leave very little money for what direct services the organization can carry out. 

“In the future, there could be groups that will max out [in the minor caps]…and I think we may have taken this a little too far,” Harris said. 

Several members in the committee said not many organizations exceed $20,000 for direct services, so the proposed cap along with other caps would be feasible. 

SSFC Chair Ellie Bruecker said with setting the overall cap limit, the committee could treat all of the organizations on a more even field and fewer viewpoint neutrality issues would arise. 

“I think that this limits arbitrary cuts to budgets because we have a set of parameters that we can’t go over and that’s the same for all the groups,” Bruecker said.

The committee ultimately voted to approve the budget caps.

Correction: The print headline of this story incorrectly stated the budget caps issue remained “unresolved” at the end of the meeting. The caps were actually approved by a two-thirds vote, and the headline has been amended to reflect this change.

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