College News

Group for underrepresented students wins lawsuit against finance committee

The Multicultural Student Coalition won their case against the Student Services Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Image By: Jon Yoon

The Multicultural Student Coalition won their case against the Student Services Finance Committee on Tuesday, granting them the opportunity for an eligibility hearing to gain funding for the fiscal year.

As part of Student Judiciary's ruling, SSFC will hold a vote next week on whether or not to allow the organization to have an eligibility hearing.

Student Judiciary followed the precedent set by a another ruling in the case of The Wisconsin Association of Black Men v. the Student Services Finance Committee on Oct. 19, stating that SSFC’s rules are too vague.

The MCSC initially submitted an application with SSFC to renew their status as a Registered Student Organization, but it was denied due to their failure to complete the “First-time Applicant” portion of the application.

However, MCSC appealed this decision to Student Judiciary, claiming the instructions were vague and unclear, as they were unaware that a “First-time Applicant” was defined as an organization that had not submitted an application in the last fiscal year. The MCSC has been an organization since 2000, with a budget most recently for fiscal year 2013.

Student Judiciary ruled in favor of MCSC, stating that “the panel recognizes that SSFC may require additional information in the form of a First-time Request Supplement,” and requested that SSFC properly define “First-time Applicant.”

MCSC petitioners presented six issues total to Student Judiciary, and the judges ruled in favor on two of their complaints. The court presented several actions for the SSFC to take as a result of the case, including:

  1. SSFC must define the term “First-time Applicant” in governing documents.
  2. SSFC is requested to clarify their definition of days in their Standing Rules.
  3. SSFC shall hold a vote on whether to grant MCSC an Eligibility Hearing, and prior to the vote, the body must be made aware of the vague nature of the application.

The MCSC and WABM, both organizations for underrepresented groups on campus, brought similar lawsuits in response to being denied funding. Student Judiciary ruled against SSFC in both cases. 

UPDATE Oct. 27 11:39 AM: An earlier version of this article stated that Student Judiciary's ruling automatically guaranteed MCSC an eligibility hearing instead of SSFC having to vote on it. The Daily Cardinal regrets this error.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.