Nov. 20, 2013
By Lucas Wimmer
Every student who pays tuition at UW-Whitewater also pays Segregated University Fees, which is something that not all students might be aware of.
A portion of every tuition payment is put toward these fees that fund student organizations.
The organizations with the highest allocations are athletics ($765,326), Rec Sports ($286,277), music activities ($96,242), Student Entertainment Awareness League ($86,593) and cultural affairs ($77,834), According to the Segregated University Fees Allocation Committee 2014-2015 budget proposals.
Eight new organizations applied for SUFAC funding, and the total increase of the budget was nearly ten percent to $1,530,777.
The athletics budget will increase five percent in the 2014-2015 school year, which is among the lower increases.
Whitewater Student Government and SUFAC began deliberations on the budget Monday, Nov. 18. Some of the changes for the budget discussed included:
• A movement by Black Student Union to add $100 to their budget. The motion failed 2-15 with 3 abstentions.
• The Crossman gallery requested an additional $2,500 for their budget. The motion passed 20-0
• ROTC requested that their budget be changed to $4,950. Their budget had been at $0 because of a late budget request submission, according to the stipulations section of the SUFAC budget. Their budget was raised to $4,000 by a vote of 19-1.
Other large increases include Students Allied for a Greener Earth (233 percent, $800 to $2,580), the Veterans Student Organization (77 percent, $3,300 to $5,850), DECA (56 percent, $2,410 to $3,750) and Muse (44 percent, $1,904 to $2,750).
Although DECA was among the largest increases, it also had the largest differential between its requested budget and its allocated budget. It requested $27,112, compared to its actual SUFAC recommended budget of $3,750.
According to the stipulations section of the SUFAC budget, two organizations were denied funding because their applications were not submitted by the deadline. These groups are Disablility Advocacy and Awarneness and Supporting a Violence-free Environment.
Brett Bilodeau, vice chancellor of student affairs and faculty advisor to SUFAC, said this is an uncommon event, and SUFAC provides multiple opportunities to help organizations complete their budgets.
“There are multiple email reminders, and clinics are offered through the office of career and leadership development and the involvement center in particular to assist SUFAC funded organizations in developing their budgets,” Bilodeau said.
SUFAC faculty adviser Faye Skelton said in SUFAC’s four-year history at UW-Whitewater, an organization not completing budgets on time is something it has rarely encountered.
“I don’t know if we have dealt with late submissions in the past, and this year there was two of them,” Skelton said. “I guess you could call it an anomaly.”
In Wisconsin, there is a statute mandating that a group including students must allocate a portion of the segregated fees, SUFAC intern Brett Guendel said.
Skelton said this is an important statute because it allows segregated fees to be collected and allocated to student organizations.
“Without SUFAC following the law and allocating these fees, our campus would have an entirely different face,” Skelton said.
Members of SUFAC come from different organizations across campus, including three representatives from Whitewater Student Government, one from the Residence Hall Association, and one from each college, Guendel said.
Bilodeau said much of the work in SUFAC is done by the students. He said the students get a little guidance from the faculty, but they mainly make the decisions and allocations themselves.
“Students truly lead this organization,” Bilodeau said. “All the decisions are made by students, for students.”
To be eligible for funding through SUFAC, organizations must be open to all students on campus. This means organizations that reject students based on grade point average, race, major or minor are not allocated any funds, Guendel said.
Guendel said this includes greek organizations.
After SUFAC receives all the budget requests from organizations, it holds an open meeting, during which the organizations make their cases for why they feel they deserve the budget they requested, Guendel said.
“The way the SUFAC usually bases how much money an organization will get is how much they help campus,” Guendel said.
SUFAC members then deliberates in a closed, recorded meeting to deliberate how much an organization will get, Guendel said.
SUFAC then presents its recommendations to WSG, which makes a final decision on how much will be allocated to the organization. The organizations are allowed to appeal WSG’s decision, and if their appeal fails, they can make a second appeal to the chancellor, Guendel said.
SUFAC recommendations have already been turned in for the 2014-2015 school year.
WSG deliberations began Monday, Nov. 18.
Any questions on SUFAC or its budget can be sent to [email protected]