Significant moments of Matt Manes' 2010-2011 term as Chairman of the Student Services Finance Committee.
Created by juliawelytok on Feb 27, 2011
Last updated: 02/27/11 at 07:25 PM
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Manes is currently a senior. Unless he remains a UW student and is reelected for his position, he will no longer be SSFC chair after May 2011.
According to Manes' Strategic Plan, in March and April the SSFC will restructure the GSSF budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 term.
"I think what you're doing is vital to the vibrancy of campus life, especially those students who have children," said Manes. He also commended the CCTAP for their work.
SSFC members voted to fine Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan's (MEChA) by taking $3,000 out of its budget after the group turned in their mid-year report two weeks late.
The group blamed Manes for their tardiness, arguing that he repeatedly sent reminder notifications to the wrong address. The SSFC ruled that it was MEChA's responsibility to notify them with important changes, such as their contact address.
This was MEChA's 4th rule violation this year.
After WISPIRG appealed SSFC's decision to deny them funding for the 2011-2012 term, the Student Judiciary ruled that ASM must rehear their case a second time. On February 10, 2011, SSFC denied WISPIRG funding for the second time.
The Student Service Finance Committee approved the Associated Students of Madison's internal budget for 2011-2012 at $1,264,339, which was $85,000 more than ASM had asked for. Additions to the fund included $75,000 for a commencement speaker fund, $10,000 for iClickers (proposed by Manes) to be rented out at libraries across campus, $15,000 to sponsor homecoming and $25,000 for the All-Campus Party.
After receiving a letter from Chancellor Biddy Martin expressing disapproval over contracting professional staff to assist student organizations, the SSFC voted to suspend contract status applications for the rest of the year. Manes said that even though SSFC bylaws may have prevented this move, UW System lawyers confirmed that it was legal and legitimate. “[UW] System policy overrides the bylaws,” Manes said.
Manes developed the SSFC Strategic Plan to “guide the reorganization of the policies and practices concerning the funding of RSOs on this campus.” On October 11, a letter from Manes was published in both student newspapers in which he invited the entire campus to join in the SSFC’s discussion of the strategic plan. The feedback we hope to receive will be used to construct the new systems we put in place and is necessary to ensure these proposals accurately reflect the general student interest,” said Manes in his letter.
The Daily Cardinal Editorial Board denounced Manes after he his decision to use a “secret audit” to determine whether or not the Campus Women's Center (CWC) would receive SSFC funding. In mid-September, Manes sent SSFC Accountability Liason Brenden Leib to the Campus Women’s Center (CWC) to request to join a peer council advising group; Leib’s real mission was to go undercover to determine whether or not the CWC was providing all of the services it claimed to.
He did not audit every committee, warn the CWC or other SSFC members that the audit was taking place or consider other evaluations besides Leib's anecdotal account.
The Daily Cardinal Editorial Board called Manes' secret audit tactics "unacceptable" and "shady at best." They also accused him of exercising “poor judgement” andbeing “irresponsible,” saying his methods sounded “a lot like ignorant kids playing ‘spy.’”
"We hope other SSFC members will help keep this watchdog position in check in the future," the Board said.
In a very controversial decision, Manes and the SSFC voted to deny funding to the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. WISPIRG is an organization that stages campaigns at local, state and national levels. Some WISPIRG campaigns had over a million beneficiaries when the number of UW students is only 56,000. Therefore, the SSFC determined that less than 75% of the group's programs' beneficiaries were UW students, making WISPIRG ineligible for SSFC funding according to the committee's bylaws.
WISPIRG had received $128,378 for their 2010-2011 budget and its members were very upset by the decision.
On May 6, 2010, Manes was elected chairman of the Student Services Finance Committee for the 2010-2011 term after receiving 40.42% of the total vote.
According to observers, Manes received "glowing endorsements" from the three previous chairs of the SSFC.