After attending to the necessary business of hearing reports and electing replacement senators to fill vacancies, the next item in Special Orders was the SFC funding requests. Most of the groups who applied were recommended for some level of funding. One group, Campus Activities Board, was approved for a token amount of 5 cents per student (or about $1400 total). This recommendation was made because the SFC did not think they were doing anything useful, but since they are a standing committee of SA, they must be funded at some level. Campus Activities Board is the organization that sponsors the Homecoming events at UWM, and has sponsored several other events in the past.
Six other organizations were declared ineligible for SFC funding: These are the organizations, together with a summary of the reasons they were declared ineligible:
Panther Dance Team -- neither a sub-unit of SA nor a critical service as defined in the SFC Bylaws section VII.D
Union Activities Board (8th Note) -- neither a sub-unit of SA nor a critical resource
Peer Outreach and Mentoring (LINKS) -- not a sub-unit of SA, and provides duplicated service already covered by the Peer Mentoring Center in Bolton Hall
Center for Volunteerism and Student Leadership -- not a sub-unit of SA and provides a duplicate service, since SA also provides opportunities for volunteerism and student leadership
Women's Resource Center -- not a sub-unit of SA, provides a duplicate service since SA has a Women's Issues Coordinator. Also, while it is an on-campus resource center not currently funded by SAC, it does not meet the requirements of Section VII.D8, because it does not serve the needs of all UWM students.
LGBT Resource Center -- not a sub-unit of SA, provides a duplicate service since SA has an LGBTQ Issues Coordinator. Also, while it is an on-campus resource center not currently funded by SAC, it does not meet the requirements of Section VII.D8, because it does not serve the needs of all UWM students.
With the exception of the SA Legislative and Executive allocations, two stipulations were put onto every group for which the SFC recommended funding:
I. SA Logo Stipulation: All official advertising/materials of the organization/deparment must prominently display the official SA Logo. The SA Senate will determine when a violation of this stipulation has occurred. A first time violation within any 12 month period will carry a fine of up to $10000, as determined by the SA Senate. Second and subsequent violations of this stipulation within any 12 month period will carry a fine of $10000.
II. Oversight Stipulation: Not including SFC suggestions, significant alterations to proposed budgets or negative alterations to services provided must be approved in advance by the SA Senate. The SA Senate will determine when a violation of this stipulation has occurred. A first time violation within any 12 monthe period will carry a fine of no more than $50000, as determined by the SA Senate. Second and subsequent violations of this stipulation within any 12 month period will carry a fine of no less than $10000 and no more than $50000, as determined by the SA Senate.
Two other groups received additional stipulations:
UWM Athletics: Funding level unconditionally set at $74.00, and to approve $77.75, contingent based on acquiring an additional $250,000.00 annually from the University, and it can not be from Segregated Fees.
Student Activities Office: Amount of funding would not go toward an assistant director.
When the funding requests came up, a question was put to the floor as to whether the groups that were denied funding could even be brought up by the Senate. From the SFC Bylaws:
XV. Senate ApprovalA. The Senate may approve, deny or change a recommendation to fund or deny funding to an applicant.
B. The Senate may not fund an applicant whose request for funding was not considered by SFC regardless of the reason for non-consideration.
The argument (presented primarily by Senator Dan Bahr) was that since the organizations were declared ineligible, they were not considered by SFC for funding, and therefore could not be added back in by the Senate. After submitting the matter to the Student Court justice kept on hand to act as Parliamentarian, the ruling was that the determination of ineligibility was effectively a recommendation by SFC to deny funding, which could be changed by the Senate in accordance with Part A. Part B was put in place to prevent an organization from bypassing the SFC process by waiting to submit until after SFC had finished their recommendations, not to give the SFC absolute power to deny a group without Senate oversight.
With that ruling dealt with, the first motion on the floor was to approve the recommendation as presented by SFC. As this requires a 2/3 vote, it failed. Then a motion was made to split off the decision on the six groups denied funding plus UPARK. That motion passed by a majority vote (it did not approve or deny funding). The next motion was to approve the recommendations by the SFC for all other groups, which passed by the necessary 2/3.
After this, a motion was made put the four student resource centers (LINKS, WRC, LGBT and CVSL) into a package and approve them en masse. Heated debate ensued, but this motion failed by one vote.
The next motion was to approve the LGBT center for eligibility. After more heated debate, this passed 21-7.
The next motion, which would approve WRC, had another strange quirk in it. Senator Antwan Jones was not in the room when the roll was called, but he entered as the vote was being counted. When he asked for the right to vote on the matter, he was denied, being told that the votes had been counted (even though they had not yet been announced). Despite that, the motion failed failed 18-10, another close call. As it turned out, his vote would have made it 19-10, which still would have failed.
At this point, a motion was made to adjust the SAC funding, as now it looked like SAC would need extra funding to cover the lost resource centers. After more rancor, the motion was tabled until afterward to see just how much extra funding would be needed.
At this point, it was getting to be 10:40 p.m., and the ballroom was only reserved until 11:00. (A word of advice to whoever reserves rooms for SA: If you are going to reserve the room until 11:00, go all the way and reserve it until midnight, as no one will reserve a room for that hour anyway. True, no one's going to kick you out of that room in the meantime, but at least you don't have the mad panic at 10:40 wondering what to do.) So a motion was made to recess the meeting until another time to be determined by Speaker Voigtlander, so that they didn't automatically reject all unconsidered organizations. Since no one was sure if they could make the meeting time and they couldn't agree on one on the spot, the vote to recess failed 14-16. Thus the meeting continued.
Debate times were constantly being shortened to get things done. So here are the remaining votes in rapid succession:
Package WRC and LINKS and approve them for eligibility: Passed 21-10
Deny eligibility to UAB & Panther Dance: Passed 21-9
Approve UPARK at $9.00, up from the $8.50 recommendation: Passed 25-4
Approve Eligibility for CVSL: Passed 24-5
Approve the four newly eligible organizations at 2006-2007 levels: Delayed to consider amendment
Amendment to stipulate that the funds only be used for student employees: Failed 4-26
Approval of 2006-2007 funding levels: Passed 21-6
Also, in a (literal) last minute action the Concurrent Services Act was passed. This defines the Presidential Cabinet in the Student Senate Bylaws as the President, Vice President, Chief of Staff, Treasurer, Academic Affairs Director, Legislative Affairs Director, and Shared Governance Director.
A complete list of funded groups, their per student funding levels, and an approximate total funding level, will appear later.