SSFC Spotlight: Live Free budget approved for upcoming fiscal year

Carter Kofman, above, is a co-chair of Live Free, a UW-Madison student organization promoting student wellness and recovery. The organization received student segregated fee funding for the first time at Thursday’s Student Services Finance Committee meeting.

Live Free, a UW-Madison student organization focused on student wellness and recovery, had its budget approved for the 2018 fiscal year by the Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee Thursday.

According to Carter Kofman, Live Free’s vice chair, the organization’s goals for the upcoming fiscal year are increasing visibility of the organization and its purpose, creating more connections and developing allies on campus, in the community and nationwide.

Live Free has been a part of the UW-Madison campus for almost three years. This current fiscal year marks their first of SSFC funding. The group was previously funded by an outside, non-UW grant called Transforming Youth Recovery, which provides funding to developing collegiate recovery programs.

According to Kofman, the largest increases in the budget from the 2017 to 2018 fiscal years are in salaries and in programming.

Live Free hires five paid leadership positions each year. The organization currently has two positions working 15 hours and three positions working 10 hours per week.

However, due to more experience and time required for preparation during the summer, the group is increasing its leadership hours to 20 hours—the SSFC's maximum—and 15 hours per week, respectively, resulting in a larger salary budget of $40,087.50, which is up from the current fiscal year’s $27,507.50.

The largest programming increases occur within the Spring Speaker Series. While the group was allotted $3,000 for speaker and honoraria fees for the current fiscal year, they are requesting $10,000 for the 2018 fiscal year in order to increase the amount and variety of speakers brought to campus, such as Rise Together, a state group that focuses on addiction, recovery and education outreach.

“I think it’s really important to push back on the drinking culture here, and the norm and at such a big university,” Kofman said. “Just, statistically, there are going to be several students who misuse substances, and their life may not be going the way they want it to be, and this needs to be there for them as an alternative.”

Live Free’s budget was approved at $55,560.28.

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