Crosswalks and contention at SGA

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.

Kirsten Scheid — The Stinger
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