College News

After lawsuits, Student Services Finance Committee updates policies and procedure for clarity

After a ruling from Student Judiciary, SSFC clarified their rules regarding eligibility. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

After losing two Student Judiciary lawsuits criticizing their policies for determining student org eligibility, the Student Services Finance Committee made changes to their standing rules Monday night in an effort to streamline their procedures.

The policy changes come after the Wisconsin Association for Black Men and Multicultural Student Coalition filed lawsuits against SSFC earlier in the semester for vague standing rules and an unclear definition of first-time applicants.

MCSC member Ian Oyler said that in the group’s case, the definition of a first-year applicant was too vague and kept the group from submitting two additional documents that are necessary for first-time applicants.

WABM claimed that SSFC didn’t clearly communicate their practices. The club would have been able to turn in the form by the late submission deadline, but SSFC Chair Jordan Gaal’s email did not tell them about that option.

“It's just something that doesn't sit well,” said WABM President Kenneth Jackson at the time. “As an entity that serves students in all aspects and all forms, the SSFC, the chair and everyone who sits on the board should be trying their hardest to make sure organizations on the campus get the funding they deserve....”

As part of the decision in favor of MCSC, Student Judiciary presented several actions for SSFC to take including:

  1. SSFC must define the term “First-Time Applicant” in governing documents
  2. SSFC is requested to clarify the definition of days in their standing rules
  3. SSFC shall hold a vote on whether to grant MCSC an eligibility hearing (the body voted in favor Monday night), and prior to the vote, the body must be made aware of the vague nature of the application

Under the amended rules, a group is a first-time applicant if they did not get GSSF funding for the most recent fiscal year.

Additionally, groups that submit a complete eligibility application on or before the deadline will be able to make their case at an eligibility hearing.

If a group submits a late application, it can still be accepted if it is filed less than 10 days after the deadline (including weekends and holidays) and has not had a late application within the past two years. SSFC must still justify the late application at a hearing.

Megan Finkbeiner, Megan Provost and Nina Bertelsen contributed to this report.

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