UW student government approves $2 million housing relief fund; UW claims it's illegal | Local Education | madison.com

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Cheyanne Kelley received the form to obtain financial assistance from Lolita Phillips for renting together with the Tenant Resource Center.

Despite opposition from the university, the Madison United University students voted unanimously on Tuesday to establish a $2 million pandemic relief fund for students, especially those who are not eligible for federal emergency assistance. 

ASM plans to manage funds through an ongoing contract with Tenant Resource Center, a local non-profit organization that is also managing the city’s rental assistance program. ASM pays TRC up to $50,000 annually to manage its student rental assistance program.

ASM chairman Matthew Mitnick said on Tuesday: "There is a lot of money in the reserve." "A lot of the money we usually spend on the budget sits there.... If you are in a crisis, for example, we are now In a crisis, and you have a lot of money sitting there instead of going anywhere, you should use it in a way that has the greatest impact on your students."

University administrators said that the regulation violated UW system policy 820, which

As a fee, all students are required to pay for the "mission-supporting student services, activities, programs and facilities" of the University of Western Australia institution, including registration or admission fees. This policy prohibits one-off payments or direct support to individual students to student organizations, except for childcare, employee salaries or scholarships, scholarships or allowances for student government leaders.

Mitnick said the university’s explanation was limited, saying that the money would not be passed directly to the students, but would be managed by a contracted third-party tenant resource center. He added that a separate fee was approved to support the mission of the student organization and invoked the duty of the ASM constitution, which is to "guarantee the ability of students, faculty and staff to operate without undue financial pressure."

"Housing is the cost of admission," Mitnick said. "To go to this institution, you must live somewhere."

The five-member reserve committee voted unanimously in favor of the resolution on Wednesday. The next day, the Student Affairs Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The fund cannot "legally proceed as proposed."

ASM’s goal is to activate the fund as soon as possible, especially given that the federal eviction order is set to expire on March 31. If the fund is approved, the Tenant Resource Center website will host assistance applications, giving priority to undocumented and international students, many of whom are not eligible

Pass the final round of federal stimulus funds.

President Rebecca Blank said at the university committee meeting that the university plans to use other available emergency funds to support those who may not be covered.

The student government drafted the law together with local student leaders including Ald 8. Max Prestigiacomo and Elena Haasl, supervisor of the 5 district and county councils. Other sponsors include Congressman Francesca Hong and four other Madison lawmakers.

Prestigiacomo said in an email: "Madison is fortunate to receive assistance from the federal government, but as usual, its conditions prevent the already marginalized population from receiving assistance." "We believe it is our responsibility to propose an addition. Measures to solve this shortcoming in the stimulus package is our responsibility."

The students also condemned the university’s efforts to lobby ASM to allocate reserves to other places, including the Wisconsin State League and Recreation and Welfare.

Community members expressed their support for ASM's efforts in the student council. Union employee, Madison DREAMers co-chair Cesar Martinez (Cesar Martinez) said it was “disheartening” and “shameful” to see the university boycott the legislation.

Brian Benford, the only candidate for the 6th District City Council, said he "feels very proud and humble" to support the fund. Benford is an employee of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Odyssey Project, which provides economic opportunities for adults who wish to attend college.

Benford said: "This epidemic has caused many of our students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to experience decades of all inequality that has caused people's attention." "Students who passed the Odyssey program did not know their next I don’t know where the salary is going and how to put the food on the table.... Although those in power overlook the opportunity to support our most marginalized students, you lead by example and put the well-being of all voters first."


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