PSG discusses Gov. Walker’s budget


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The leaders of Parkside Student Government at UW-La Crosse

AUSTIN KRIEGER | krieg004@rangers.upw.edu

Governor Scott Walker is on tour around the state, promoting his new budget proposal for Wisconsin. Walker stopped at a few UW campuses across the state during the tour, speaking about how the budget reform will affect university students. Currently UW system tuition cost is frozen across the board, along with the continuation of the tuition freeze that Walker revealed his plan to drop tuition in the UW system by 5% this in the upcoming fiscal year. Also, part of the proposed reform is an “opt-out” clause, in which students can choose to opt-out of segregated fees included in their tuition, which are used to provide for organizations around campus.

The problem

On the surface, this seems like good news for UW system students, but this budget led to a few questions by lawmakers and students alike. Lawmakers are concerned with where the money for the tuition drop will come from. Walker has claimed, that in lieu of the lost tuition revenue, Wisconsin tax dollars are going to be used to make up the difference. Students are also concerned with what the “Opt-out” clause will mean for some student organizations on campus. One of the main questions students want answered is what organizations are going to be subject to funding cuts due to students opting out of segregated fees, as segregated fees are the funding keepings these orgs on campuses.  

Parkside getting involved

Parkside student government members, including President Jessica Diaz and Vice President Corey Hoskins, were able to travel to UW-La Crosse, April 1, to meet with other UW campus student representatives. Students discussed resolutions related to segregated fees among other things, specifically the detrimental academic impact Gov Walker’s opt-out clause could cause for UW students. Student representatives drafted and voted on a resolution in opposition to the clause and were able to move legislature to remove the clause from the current budget proposal.

Student Impact

Parkside student government President Jessica Diaz expressed concern about how this can affect students’ performance and involvement on campuses stating, “if these segregated fees are removed many of the student organizations will disappear including all of the events they hold.” Within the discourse at the meeting in La Crosse, student leaders expressed concern saying, “Without this funding source, many of these necessary student services would no longer be able to be provided, causing a decrease in enrollment, retention, and graduating students on every University of Wisconsin Campus.” Though UW student representatives were able to remove the clause from the current budget plan, Walker and his retinue hope to resurface the clause as a bill to be passed in the future.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PARKSIDE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

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