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Woo! I was almost late for this: Student Council special budget-crunching liveblog!

February 17, 2010

Goodnight. Let’s recap: SSFC and SACGB budgets are passed. The GSSF budget is referred to Conference Committee. I think the unapproved internal budget will go before Conference Council.

Read this and don’t let anyone tell you ASM is not making every effort to serve the campus.

I’m out. I’ve got to prepare myself for the Men’s Free Skate competition tomorrow night. Go Lysacek!

11:59 Love doesn’t feel it’s necessary to follow the bylaws with the budget. Didn’t he say ASM has to follow its bylaws when dealing with the legislation reading bylaw? Yup. And now we’re adjourned without passing the budget.

11:59 Almost done!

11:57 The money is restored. $50,000 for student tenant support services. I think this is a win. This is an important issue and ASM should do what it can to improve student life when and where it can.

11:55 Templeton supports having the service. It would be a great thing for ASM to provide to students.

Manes really supports this idea. It’s worth the chance of putting this money in the budget.

11:53 Paulson insists there is a plan for the student tenant resource support. He needs the money first before they can contract the service out. He’s very insistent: There’s a plan!

Williams cannot support something until he sees it in front of him laid out. Also, the Tenant Resource Center is open to students. This is double-billing students as taxpayers and as students.

11:49 They pass amendment to restore $2,000 to the Creative Works fund. Still have many amendments before this will get passed. Odds of voting on the budget goes to 75-1.

11:45 15 minutes left and we’ve begun debate. Paulson wants to make a ton of amendments to different line items. The odds of any action being taken are now 58-1.

11:41 We’re still on Q&A. I should start taking bets on whether or not SC will approve any action on this budget tonight. 18 minutes left. Let’s set the odds at 12-1 against any action.

11:38 Zinn wants further reasoning for cutting the position…and WordPress keeps updating my posts with the time but without the words I type. Maybe that is an improvement, depending on your opinion of my talents.

11:33 SSFC cut one full-time staff position. Williams now justifying decision to cut the position after a long SSFC debate.

Justifications: We can’t pay for everything. Position was not absolutely necessary to the organization and campus.

11:29 How will the Council take to the Chief of Staff position? I think that might cause some debate. We’ll have to wait until after Q&A.

Only half hour to go. Crunch time!

11:28 Beemsterboer: Should we further discuss levels of stipends? Williams: No.

11:24 We’re still going over increases and decreases. Maybe I’m overstepping my bounds but I’m just gonna say there is nothing unreasonable or shocking here. Really, it’s very vanilla. But, hey. Who am I? Let’s see how the discussion goes.

Oh wait. There’s the student tenant resource center. Paulson loves it. SSFC zero-funded it because there is no formulated proposal for this idea. It’s just an idea without form.

11:17 Okay, the Conference Committee must convene within 5 days to discuss the GSSF budget. It’s a biggie. On to the ASM internal budget.

11:15 Sorry, I had a really wrong number that needed fixing. Totally lost right now. Gosselin wants to send the GSSF to Conference Committee. There’s something wrong with the GUTS budget that needs to be worked out. Everyone seems to be of this opinion.

11:11 Zinn curious what the status is of the Campus Women’s Center’s appeal. Williams: no reason to consider them in this packet. The Chancellor can be instructed that another group will require funding if it comes to that.

11:06 The only important thing to know?: the GSSF budget stands at $1.4 million. That’s a lot of scratch. Junger reminds everyone that they must remain viewpoint neutral during this discussion. It is not the role of ASM to decide on the merits of student services.

11:02 Noooo! back to the SACGB budget to add some money to the custodian line item. Budget passes again with change. Up next: GSSF budgets. Time for presentation by Chair Williams.

11:01 Motion to refer budget to Conference Committee fails. Motion to approve budget passes. Hey! Two in one night!

10:59 Love hates the idea of Conference Committee. Doesn’t trust how the members would be selected.

Paulson: Let’s just pass the budget and be done with it.

10:57 Motion to decrease the increase of the SACGB Chair stipend fails.

Manes will speak: He disagrees with the $2,000 added to the budget. Motions to send the budget to the Conference Committee.

10:52 Ingram on stipend increases: It’s just not the right time to do this.

Love: what message does this send to students-that we value student labor over staff labor.

Templeton breaking his silence: for the work we do, we work long hours and people know that. Labor boards think ASMers don’t get paid enough. Is the work worth the money? is the essential question.

Templeton refrains from telling a story. That’s too bad.

Smith calls the question.

10:49 Paulson: this is a big building and it has taken a whole lot more than we thought it would. He likes the full increase because the Chair has a hard job.

Ingram: having an automatic increase will not depoliticize the issue of stipends. Also points out that plenty of researchers on campus work for little pay. The pay is not tied to number of hours they work.

10:45 Tobelmann: disappointed that SSFC is against SC members questioning line items. Faulty to claim SC hasn’t given anything enough thought. Zinn’s motion is to increase the SACGB Chair stipend by only 3.5%.

Gosselin says this position has been underpaid in the past so a raise is necessary. He uses the phrase, “apples to grapefruit.” Comparing apples to oranges WILL NOT SATISFY GOSSELIN!

10:42 Zinn thinks it does not look good to the public if ASM approves thousands in raises for itself. He would like to lower the SACGB Chair’s stipend. Many seconds for the motion.

Manes seconded it to speak against it. He uses the word nit-picking again. He’s angry the motion was made without asking questions about the position.

10:41 Junger casts the deciding vote, I win, and there will be amplifying microphones up in herre!

10:37 Paulson wants to add $2,000 for microphones for the Hearing Room.

It would be nice to be able to hear everyone. I’m tired of straining. Listen, people. I’ve destroyed my hearing through years of loud music and shouting. HELP ME OUT!

Beemsterboer does not like just making up the number of $2,000, however. He disagrees. I’ll refer him to my plea THAT WAS IN ALL CAPS!

10:32 Great. Now we know that Lauren Vollrath, not KMG, prepared this budget.

Ziebell says there is an increase in budget for hourly staff because of increased hours of being open.

10:28 Wow. This is quite a long presentation of the budget by Chair Williams. Not gonna lie–less than riveting. I mean, we’re talking about the amount of money needed to operate and keep a building.

10:24 17-3-0 the budget passes! Onto the SACGB budget. Get your asses onto the edges of your seats. You need to be ready for this.

10:21 Roll Call! We’re finally gonna vote on the SSFC budget. No changes. I’m giddy with excitement.

/looks at agenda. sees multiple budgets left to discuss. single tear rolls down cheek.

10:20 Ingram’s motion for stipends fails. Beemsterboer’s motion requires 2/3 vote. That fails, too. Back to the main motion: the budget itself.

10:17 Manes: we set GSSF rates at double what the stipends come out to. SSFC should make at least as much as the people whose pay they are overseeing.

He doesn’t think anyone works as much as SSFC for as little money. He shouldn’t look at the Badger Herald’s pay rates.

10:13 Ingram: people’s hard work is questioned all the time. don’t take it personally. The hard work should stand up to the questioning. The stipend increases are too much. He hasn’t heard the justification. No one else gets increases in salary equal to the increase in tuition. Fair point.

He proposes 3.5% increases if increases are needed at all. He wants to set the stipends at $7,038; $4,140; $2,007. Love is in support of this.

10:10 Hmm. Gosselin agrees the SSFC Chair spends more time doing work than the ASM Chair. The lower stipend is just symbolic of the importance of the Chair.

Again, Manes is sick of the numbers nit-picking. How many times will I type “nit-picking” before the budgets are passed.

At this rate: 8,689 times.( NOTE: this number was not reached at using any sort of formula)

10:05 Alright, we’re finally onto the debate of the budget.

Beemsterboer: motion to move SSFC Chair stipend to $7,864. Vice Chair to $6,464 and Secretary to $2,266.

Williams seconds it just to argue against it. Williams thinks SSFC Chair work load is similar to ASM Chair. Interesting. I’d like to see some numbers on that. That would be pretty impossible, though.

Gosselin is also against the motion.

10:02 Chair Williams’s contacts are bothering him. I know the pain, buddy. Contacts are the worst. I should get my pay rate increased so I can get me some LASIK.

10:01 The SSFC Vice Chair and SSFC Secretary also have a lot of responsibilities. BREAKING NEWS!

No, really. They do a lot of stuff.

9:59 Alright, after some sweet snippiness, Chair Williams is now describing what he does as the SSFC Chair. Spark notes version: the dude lives here and is always SSFC’ing. (that’s a new verb)

9:57 I think we’re trying to find what the cost of in-state tuition will be next year? Okay.

9:55 Manes: none of these stipends meet minimum wage or are equal to how we pay GSSF groups.

9:51 Romenesko: How much would Vice Chair break down to pay per hour? Williams says the Chair position breaks down to about $5.50 per hour and suspects the Vice Chair would break down to less.

Chair Jonah Zinn is curious about the formula used. Williams: we take into account amount of time put in and how much that breaks down to per hour.

Manes: the formula is not actually a formula. Takes estimated cost of living here. Assume person takes out maximum amount of Stafford loans. Subtract expected family contribution.

9:49 Paulson is curious if there will be more work for the SSFC Vice Chair now that there will be a long negotiation process with Madison Metro over the bus pass program (the Vice Chair serves on the bus pass advisory committee).

9:46 Gosselin asking a long question as a way to make a point: Stipends were lowered a couple years ago to fit under a cap and the increases now are just the method to catch the stipends up to where they should be anyway.

9:44 Love: why is the Vice Chair making $5,000 more than two years ago.

Templeton asks about the adjustment for SSFC advisor and financial specialist.

9:42 Beemsterboer wants to know how much SSFC figured tuition next year.

Rep. Love wants to know why there is so much of an increase in stipends for the SSFC Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.

9:40 Okay, the minutes are read and we’re onto the budgets! First up: the SSFC budget.

9:38 Motion by Beemsterboer to close Q&A because this topic is not germaine to the budgets up for discussion tonight.

Junger also notifies that Rep. Koss is removed for having too many unexcused absences. And the agenda is approved.

9:37 In William’s opinion, the fact that there is such a high threshold for SC to change SSFC budget proposals points to him that SC was intended to be a final check, not the primary budget decision-maker.

9:30 SSFCs objective is to set stipends at effective numbers to attract the best candidates.

Discussing some bylaw changes to how SSFC handles budgets. Sorry, I couldn’t hear.

Paulson says he thinks the role of SSFC in budgets is an advisory one, not the final word. It is a problem if SC can’t add money that has been taken away by the SSFC.

Williams responds that SSFC is the financial wing of ASM and has the power to make direct changes to budgets and he recognizes a philosophical difference between himself and Paulson.

Rep. Heywood reads a bylaw that says the SSFC is supposed to recommend budgets to SC.

Fergus points out the state provides for SSFC to have so much budgetary power.

9:28 Gosselin wants to know about this disputed formula that prompted so much discussion last week.

9:26 SSFC Chair Williams is up. Admits he was defensive last week and notes Manes’s passion this week.

He does see a rationale for SC questioning SSFCs decisions in its role as a responsible check on the actions of SSFC.

Opens himself up to questions about SSFC budget philosophy and role.

9:24 Rep. Heywood does not think SC should accept a formula from SSFC for figuring out budgets. This would strip SSFCs in the future of power.

Also, Smathers is here as a rival liveblogger. Who does he think he is? It’s on!

9:22 Rep. Paulson is now speaking: everyone should read the blog posts he sent (that I linked below).

9:20 Manes closes himself to questions. Rep. Love up next. He thinks SC should continue discussing the budget in a useful manner.

Chair Fergus is up and at ’em and trying to get everyone to go to some building unity conference. Hmm.

9:19 Goodness! Manes also believes SC is just supposed to rubberstamp all things budget-related that SSFC does. Chair Hanley asks if SC shouldn’t conssider budgets that affect policy.

I’m lovin’ it.

9:17 Manes still making the case for the inscrutability of SSFC’s budget decisions. Junger wants everyone to keep question responses to 1 minute or less.

Rep. Bemis asks if SJ will use the money, and Manes is off again. He doesn’t think they will.

All this angry energy has this party off hardcore.

9:12 Manes’s time to speak is extended two minutes. He’s got a lot on his mind. He doesn’t think the Student Council can set correct numbers–it is too cumbersome a process with so many people at the table.

Beemsterboer reasserts that the Council decided having more money for advertising was effective.

Ingram wanted to know why the Chief Justice didn’t submit a budget with the reduced money if he didn’t need it. Manes responds the Chief Justice didn’t do anywork on his own budget. Ingram wants to know why Manes or Darby didn’t bring up this issue last week.

9:09 Open forum. Rep. Matt Manes up first. About what? He’s pissed about how the Student Council handled the budget last week. He is not happy with the restoration of $3,000 to the SJ budget. Reasserts the idea that SC should only decide whether or not the SSFC approved budgets are reasonable.

9:08 Announcements. Junger wants to start up a “ride board” to hook people without cars up with people with cars. Smart.

9:06 We’re called to order. ORDER, PEOPLE!

Alright, people.

It’s 9 p.m.

We’re almost set. This thing will be a go any second.

Famous faces in the crowd tonight? Jason Smathers, Badger Herald Editor in Chief. Oh yeah: shout out to Chair Adam Johnson. Why? Because we love you!

Here’s your agenda. Go get it.

Also, for your information. Rep. Paulson will be referencing this and this. Enjoy.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    February 17, 2010 11:18 pm

    Will there be pig tonight?

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      February 17, 2010 11:20 pm

      I wish. I’m famished from all this budget ruckus.

      • Ryan permalink
        February 17, 2010 11:32 pm

        I scored some Toppers coupons from a conference room if you want some. Maybe we could use some of the increased stipends to get some pizzzzzzas? That’d totes be perf.

        Yours truly,

        SAC Front Staffz.

      • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
        February 17, 2010 11:35 pm


  2. Ryan permalink
    February 17, 2010 11:49 pm

    10 minutes before the sprinklers go off and the hounds are released!

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      February 17, 2010 11:51 pm

      That might be welcome right now.


  1. The Sconz

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