SSFC cuts funding for internship program in F.H. King 2016 budget

SSFC Rep. Jessica Franco-Morales said funding activities done for academic credit goes against UW System policy.

Image By: Drew Gilmore

Following extensive debate concerning funding for credit-producing programs, the Student Services Finance Committee approved F.H. King’s 2015-’16 budget Monday but cut funding for an internship program that members said violated policy.

F.H. King is a group of students who promote sustainable agriculture and the establishment of a relationship between land, food and community, according to the group’s website.

SSFC members, including Rep. Todd Garon, argued for F.H. King, saying the students are not joining just for the credits and must seek out credit options themselves. Rep. Jessica Franco-Morales said cutting the funding would only hurt students who are not getting credits.

However, SSFC members, including Vice Chair Thuy Pham and Secretary Brett DuCharme, said using student funding to pay for internships for which students can earn credits defeats the purpose of having segregated fees.

Assistant Director of Financial Services Rich Sterkowitz clarified that academic departments could abuse credit-generating programs by directing students toward the program rather than a class.

“All of a sudden, F.H. King is becoming a semi-department,” Sterkowitz said. “It’s a very thin line you are walking.”

Franco-Morales said one her biggest concerns with F.H. King’s budget was the possible violation of F50, a UW System policy determining principles for administering student funds.

“I know we’ve been really strict with other groups on F50, and all groups should be held accountable,” Franco-Morales said. “It’s clearly credit-producing.”

SSFC ultimately decided the funding violated its policy of providing student funding to academic credit-producing activities. Removing the $400, SSFC unanimously granted a budget of $70,484.31.

Campus Women’s Center representative and SSFC member Erin Harper presented CWC’s proposed budget of $82,265.70 for fiscal year 2016. Most funding went toward safe-sex supplies, a resource library, informational materials, child care, peer support, workshops and public speakers.

CWC’s mission is to confront gendered oppression by providing a variety of support services for all students, according to its website.

SSFC will determine CWC’s budget allocation Thursday.

Members also voted on whether to remove Reps. Sam Domach and Dylan Fiedler for lack of attendance. Both representatives cited academic reasons for missing meetings. SSFC voted to keep them on staff.

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