The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Senate gets UW System to lessen budget cuts

Student Senate scored a bit of a financial victory last week after fighting this semester against proposed cuts to the UW System.

State financial aid recipients, on the other hand, may have less to cheer about.

The state, which previously proposed taking $25 million out of System schools’ auxiliary accounts under the 2009-2011 state budget, moved recently to reduce that amount to just a little more than $16 million, Senate President Michael Umhoefer said at Monday’s meeting.

UW-Eau Claire faced losing more than $2.1 million from its auxiliary account under the former proposal, according to a System press release issued in March. The school is now facing a cut of around $1.3 million, said David Giroux, communications director for the System.

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The auxiliary account goes toward making down payments on certain building projects on campus, as well as funding certain services and covering utility bills, several Senate members said this semester.

At the same time, though, the state also eliminated about $20 million in proposed increases for financial aid funding, Giroux said. Students receiving the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant will no longer see once-expected increases in their aid packages as a result.

Giroux said the action does not amount to a cut in financial aid – just an elimination of expected aid increases.

Senate approves insurance contract
Students insured by the Student Senate-affiliated health insurance plan can expect to pay a little more next year to stay covered, but Senate said they’ll get more bang for their buck.

Students under 30 currently pay $842 for coverage, and students 31 and over pay $1,096, according to the bill authorizing the new contract. Costs next year will increase $55 for students under 30, and will increase $72 for students 31 and over, according to information attached to the bill.

Umhoefer said the cost increases will allow the new contract to raise the maximum medical coverage from $250,000 to $500,000 per student.

“With rising medical costs and inflation we are going to see larger claims in the future,” Sen. Jacob Kampen said, “so a ceiling for that of $500,000 will be a better idea in the future. We had to adjust it.”

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Senate gets UW System to lessen budget cuts