The Associated Students of Madison Coordinating Council voted Wednesday to approve ASM’s 2016-’17 internal budget, after making slight adjustments.
The committee approved the proposed budget at $1,449,015.14, an increase over the previous year’s budget of $1,403,033.24.
One of the adjustments increased funding support for the website registered student organizations use to apply for ASM grants from $4,000 to $9,000. Committee members cited the website’s aging interface as one of the reasons for the increase.
Council member Ariela Rivkin mentioned that many of the policies currently on the site are not up to date with ASM policies, which could confuse student organizations looking to apply for various grants.
Members also debated whether to cap funding for the Green Fund at $25,000 or to keep it at the current amount of $50,000. The Green Fund provides student organizations dedicated to addressing sustainability issues with money from student segregated fees.
While some council members said that the fund plays a key role on campus in an important issue area, others said that restrictions on what the funding can address present obstacles.
Rivkin stated that since ASM is strictly limited in what segregated fees can go toward infrastructure, the Green Fund is also limited, as most issues regarding sustainability rely on infrastructural improvement.
The Green Fund may be unfair to other student organizations looking to improve campus, and according to Rivkin funding requests should go through the Finance Committee instead.
“It’s not fair to every single other [organization] that is doing something else,” Rivkin said. “If there’s a Green Fund then there should be a fund for everybody else who’s trying to accomplish great things on this campus.”
The Council also heard a presentation from students looking to establish the first UW-Madison food pantry on campus.
The students presenting preliminary ideas for the food pantry said it is a necessity after recent studies that show a growing number of college students suffer from food insecurity. The food pantry is currently proposed to receive $3,000 in the ASM budget.
The ASM internal budget will next go to Student Council for approval.