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UWS SGA Constitution Ratified, More From ASM Student Council

Posted: 2022-09-29 18:09:40   Expiration: 2032-10-09 18:09:40

ASM Logo  Associated Students of Madison
  333 East Campus Mall, 4301 Student Activity Center, Madison, WI
  Website:   Phone: 608/265-4ASM   


29 September 2022

Meghan Savaglia, Press Office Director

UWS SGA Constitution Ratified, More From ASM Student Council

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met Wednesday, the 28th of September to discuss a wide range of topics, including the University of Wisconsin System Student Government Association (UWS SGA), recent updates to the UW System segregated fee schedule, and more.

The Campus Area Neighborhood Association, in tandem with Madison District 8 Alder Juliana Bennet, presented to the body in regards to their position as a neighborhood association directed towards students. CANA identified their mission as to “advocate for students and neighbors on issues like affordable housing, police reform, mental health access, voting [and] transportation.” CANA highlighted the recent State Street Garage project, an initiative which is currently in the early stages of development by the City of Madison, as a focus. Alder Juliana Bennet followed by presenting herself as an advocate for the success of student campaigns in ASM, and encouraged members to reach out.

The next order of business for the Student Council was once again the ratification of the UWS SGA Constitution. The body had recently considered the legislation, sponsored by Legislative Affairs Chair MGR Govindarajan. Debate on the legislation ensued, in which many representatives on the Student Council shared their opinions on the statewide student government body proposed. Opposition arose from the body, with Student Services Finance Committee Vice Chair Andrew Pietroske calling the SGA “bloated, with too many moving parts.” Student Activity Center Governing Board Chair Kevin Jacobson held the body as “un-democratic,” due to representation for each UW System school consisting of only 2 representatives each, despite some schools such as UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee holding a greater population of students.

Alternatively, many members of ASM expressed their support for the UWS SGA. Sustainability Campaign Co-Coordinator Winston Thompson noted that “Any type of organization that expands all of UW will help bring a more diverse voice onto something like divestment, which would be really helpful [and a] good way to push shared campaigns forward.” As sponsor of the legislation, Chair MGR Govindarajan defended UWS SGA, citing the importance of the creation of a network of student leaders across all UW System schools. Govindarajan added that the importance of receiving support from the Wisconsin state legislature is imperative in accomplishing many student government goals– goals that appear stronger when a united front of UW schools can be presented. In his closing statements on the legislation,

Govindarajan stated “I want [the state legislature] to get things done for students, I want them to support affordable housing, I want them to help get mental health funding… This organization will not be seen as UW-Madison, it will be seen as the 13 schools together.” The legislation on the ratification of UWS SGA passed with a vote of 17-2.

The Student Council then discussed legislation surrounding changes made by the University of Wisconsin System to the segregated fee schedule. The legislation “condemns the actions of the UW-System in condensing the segregated fee schedule for the University.” The deadline for official allocation of segregated fees was recently moved up by the UW System with little warning to universities. Members of the SSFC, who passed the legislation earlier in the week, expressed displeasure with the recent schedule change. This legislation passed with unanimous approval.

ASM also authorized and passed legislation in regards to a Rules Committee, which will work continuously to find room for improvement within the ASM internal bylaws. These changes will be introduced to the Student Council after sufficient updates are made by the committee.

Other issues tabled for future meetings were updates to the ASM Section 8 bylaws, in order for the ASM bylaws to comply with the ratification of the UWS SGA Constitution. Additionally, legislation surrounding the internal ASM minimum wage was also tabled for a future meeting. This proposal moved the ASM internal wage to $15 an hour, up from the current rate of $12. This comes in response to the Wisconsin Union and UW-Madison Housing and Dining Services raising their minimum wage to $15 in recent weeks.

The next Student Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 28 in the Student Activity Center at 333 East Campus Mall.


-- Associated Students of Madison: Meghan Savaglia