College News

Wisconsin Union budget increase approved by SSFC

The Student Services Finance Committee approved 1 percent increase to the Wisconsin Union's budget for “building-ready-for-use" costs.

Image By: Katie Scheidt

Behind the beautiful views from the Terrace and the cosy study nooks of Union South lie student segregated fees. These student fees help cover the costs of maintenance and upkeep for Wisconsin Union buildings in exchange for the services they provide to campus.

Student Services Finance Committee met Thursday to approve a 1 percent increase in the Wisconsin Union’s budget. This increase brings their budget from $10.57 million to $10.6 million this year, a larger increase than previously.

Still, SSFC Chair Colin Barushok said, the Union uses student money responsibly.

The Union’s segregated fees pay for what they call “building-ready-for-use,” meaning students pay for the ability to use Union spaces, according to Barushok.

Current building-ready-for-use costs are higher than the Union’s requested budget increase. The Union will draw on other sources of revenue, like profits from the Terrace, to cover the rest of those costs to negate the extra burden on students.

“I think we could have denied the increase, and the Union would have been able to bear that, the reason we didn’t want to deny that is because we didn’t want to get into a fight with the Chancellor over 1 percent, it’s just not important to us,” Barushok said.

However, the segregated fees they receive do not pay for everything including student workers’ wages or remodeling. According to SSFC Rep. Jordan Gaal, construction projects are paid for using a separate segregated fee on a referendum requested by the Union. In 2006, students voted on a referendum to pay an additional segregated fee that could not exceed $96 per student to cover the cost of building Union South and remodeling Memorial Union.

The costs of remodeling Memorial Union have been higher than anticipated, however, according to Barushok, the cost to students stays relatively stagnant. Gaal added the Union receives private donations to fund these extra costs.

“The Union does a really good job, they actually try not to raise seg fees, they want to make us happy, so they try to take in enough revenue so they don’t have to raise it much,” Barushok said.

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