The Student Government Association powered through a load of new business March 8, covering items from crosswalks to student organization budgets.
SUFAC (Segregated University Fees Allocation Committee), in the process of reviewing the budgets submitted by student organizations for the 2013-2014 school year, discovered that one group had requested 25% of the SUFAC budget of approximately $200,00, with another requesting 20%. Combining these figures with reports of student organizations openly admitting that they routinely inflated their budgets with organizations requesting such a large proportion of a pot that has to be distributed between more than 50 organizations, SUFAC asked that the biggest organizations scale back their funding requests to $18,000. Three of the four biggest student organizations have complied, allowing SUFAC to possibly bring organization funding across the board up to about 57% of their requested amounts. To not jeopardize smaller organizations, a request to guarantee funding up to $2,000 (subject to strict budget review) is being forwarded to Chancellor Wachter.
Major arguments against this were presented. Assistant Dean Ann Miller warned that this could be setting a precedent for future SUFAC committees to unfairly allocate funds. Senator Marshall Hansberry noted (echoed later by Jeff Kahler) that an organization requesting $3,000 could conceivably be funded at a lower amount than an organization requesting $1,900. The item was hotly debated, with amendments proposed and rejected, finally passing by roll call vote 6-4-1 to be forwarded to Chancellor Wachter.
On another note, Speaker Bryce Harp and Senator Kevin Griepentrog sponsored legislation requesting that Facilities Management look into some way of upgrading the crosswalk between the Markovich Wellness Center and Holden Fine Arts Building. He reported that many students had commented to him on how dark the crossing is, especially after midnight, when the exterior lights for the wellness center are shut down. More lighting, or perhaps a flashing sign that could be activated by the pedestrian were both suggested. Assistant Dean Miller asked that the request be modified to include all the crosswalks on Catlin Avenue. The recommendation passed 11-0-0.
The format for SGA Spring election ballots was approved. Spring elections will be held next Monday and Tuesday, April 15th and 16th. Polls will be open only in the YU, due to concerns with availability of senate members to work the stations.
Other subjects that were discussed include: The impact of lower-than-expected enrollment on the Yellowjacket Union; student fees will be raised to help defray the debt service costs? And SGA is considering adding a Diversity Liaison position to its cabinet, reflecting University of Wisconsin – Superior’s commitment to a diverse population and staff.