Senate hears other financial plan

A plan put forward by UW-River Falls to renegotiate financial cuts at state universities has caught the support of some members of UW-Eau Claire’s Student Senate.

River Falls’ proposal, which would save Eau Claire nearly $325,000 in cuts during the 2009-11 state budget, was discussed briefly Monday at the Senate meeting.

“It’s a good plan,” said Senate Vice President Meghan Charlier, who added the proposal “gives each (UW) institution an ability to retain some of their auxiliary money so they don’t in turn have to raise student fees higher.”

Eau Claire stands to lose about $2.1 million from its auxiliary account under the proposed two-year state budget as part of a plan to take a total of $25 million from UW System schools’ auxiliary accounts.

River Falls’ proposal would reduce the system-wide auxiliary cuts to $12.5 million, effectively halving the cuts to each university’s auxiliary account, Spencer Gansluckner, a River Falls student senator, told The Spectator Tuesday.

Under the proposal, another $12.5 million would come out of System schools’ operating budgets, putting the overall system-wide cut back to $25 million, said another River Falls senator, Jordan Harshman, who explained that schools’ operating budgets represent the cost needed to keep each school running.

Gansluckner said River Falls’ Senate is seeking support from other UW System schools’ student governments, adding the plan likely will need the support of at least four other System schools to be taken seriously in Madison.