The Student Services Finance Committee of Associated Students at Madison met Thursday to discuss budgets for recreation and welfare, major college tutoring services, college health services and the Wisconsin union.
This was the CFHS’ first in-person meeting since they voted to end virtual meetings last Monday. Because GUTS representatives did not show up due to confusion over moving to in-person meetings, the CFHS instead read GUTS’ budget recommendations.
SSFC representative Kevin Jacobson expressed concern over GUTS’ request to increase funding for his University Services Coordinator position. GUTS wanted to have more money available for this position as they planned to hire more staff, said SSFC President Maxwell Laubenstein.
Jacobson then created a motion to request additional financial support for the Academic Support Services Coordinator equal to the salary of the Director of GUTS. The SSFC endorsed the motion at the end of the meeting, with Vice President Rianna Mukherejee stating that passing the motion was good for the independence of GUTS.
“I think it will help them establish themselves more as their own body,” Mukherjee said.
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After the SSFC discussed the GUTS budget, RecWell Manager Aaron Hobson presented the RecWell budget. Hobson began by presenting statistics on how the Nicolas Recreation Center accommodated more students than SERF – the fitness center it replaced – before moving on to RecWell’s budget.
Hobson requested a $10 increase in separate fees, which RecWell would use to raise the working student minimum wage from $10 to $12 an hour, as well as other operational expenses related to wage increases. Hobson also presented statistics on Bakke’s upcoming recreation center.
“This building is designed to not only help with the physical well-being of our students, but also the holistic well-being of our students,” said Hobson. “It will be a game-changer, just like the Nicolas leisure center was.”
The SSFC then asked about RecWell’s budget, including what will happen to Camp Randall Shell once Bakke is built. Hobson said the Shell will be turned over to the UW athletics department for $5 million once Bakke is fully operational.
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Following RecWell’s presentation, representatives from UHS, including Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director Jack Baggott and Associate Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Carol Griggs presented the UHS budget.
Baggott presented statistics on how UHS responded to the pandemic at one time, giving out more than 18,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine during the fall semester. Baggott also explained how UHS spends its money, with 50% of it going to medical services, 40% to mental health services and 10% to prevention.
Baggott then demanded a $10 increase in segmentation fees, a portion of which would pay for more dieticians, sex survivor advocates and survivor counselors.
“We want to do a lot more upstream to eliminate the need for survivor services,” Baggott said.
The committee planned to make formal requests to UHS regarding its budget at the next SSFC meeting on Monday, February 28.
Following the UHS budget, the SSFC met with Wisconsin union representatives to discuss the Wisconsin union budget. Rep. Jacobson asked about the recent Social Justice Hub movement, especially since it is currently part of the UW Office of Inclusion-Education under Student Affairs. Union director Mark Guthier said the social justice center was still located and funded by the Union.
The agenda for the meeting, as well as all documents presented and discussed, can be found here.
The CFSS will meet next Monday, February 28 at 6 p.m.