ASM Spring goals: funding

[This is part of my series of ASM goals for Spring Semester. Read them all here]

Finish the Housing/Tenant Services RFP. I’ve written about this a lot already, so I won’t go into it in much detail. My goal is to have it out to the Dept of Administration before the end of April. It’s going to take a ton of bureaucracy navigation with the UW to get it happen.

Finish the guidelines for the Creative Works fund and get them approved with the Finance Committee. My plan is to write a first draft, and then kick it to Finance and let them polish.

ASM should continue to diversify its funding streams. This is something Alex Gallagher wrote about last spring in a post that everyone should read twice. In particular, I want to bring his “Centers funding stream” to life. Here’s what he wrote:

“Centers: CWC, LGBTCC (when it was a group), Wunk Sheek, MEChA, and WCSU look similar in that they provide safe space and programming around issues of underrepresented minorities.  I think that you could capitalize on this similarity and create a stream which could provide funding for their unique needs.  Rather than pretending that they look like GUTS or ALPS, this will allow them to be treated like centers.  You can use the exact same budgets as you do for GSSF groups, if you want, but you can change the criteria to fit these particular types of services.”

We’d create it this funding stream this spring, with applications starting in Fall of 2010, for funding to start in July of 2011. It will actually probably save money, because right now in order to be a GSSF group you actually have to provide services. With a centers fund, groups wouldn’t have to screw around with that and could focus on their center aspect, which means they can ask for less money. To keep the growth from going crazy, maybe we cap the total fund, but that’s tricky to do in a viewpoint-neutral fashion.

I don’t know that we’ll get this done this year

In another funding stream, it’s time to think about the future of newspapers. UW System policy allows for seg fees to pay for newspapers, but currently the GSSF explicitly disallows publications as a service.

Now, both the Daily Cardinal and the Badger Herald swear up and down that they’d never take a dime of money from ASM, but I’d rather design a system when they don’t need the money, so if the day comes that they do really need the money they can decide how important it really is to not take ASM money. Broadly, here’s what I’m thinking:

– ASM won’t fund the entire costs. We’d fund maybe 50%, with a cap of say $200,000, and a minimum of $25,000 (which means that a paper has to be able to raise at least $25000 before we’ll take them serious).

– You have to be a real paper. Published at least once a week during the semester, some print minimum (5000 copies?). I’d like to put some minimum, like 25% news coverage, but that’s probably too tricky to get right.

– You have to print. Online only is the wave of the future and all that, and we should eventually think about how to fund online only, but for now an online-only org could get started for much cheaper than a print version – probably cheap enough that it doesn’t need any assistance.

– We need to protect editorial control. Student papers risk enough criticizing the administration, which controls their grades. It’d be even harder to serve as the watchdog for student government knowing that the student government also controls your funding. I think a newspaper would still probably apply to the SSFC, but there would also be a review by a committee of outsiders, from the journalism world (hopefully we could draft some faculty from the J-School, and the local press) to review any denials of funding, looking to ensure it wasn’t because the paper criticized the student government.

– The students and university should get something out of the deal, too. If you take ASM money, the UW should get a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide license to all of the content of the paper that allows them to store the archives and display it in any form for any and all comers.  (Maybe only what’s published while under the deal, but it’d be nice to have the complete archives of the papers that go back for decades.)

In full disclosure, it’s no secret that I write for the Badger Herald, though it is not a paid gig.  I hope to graduate before this funding became available, but even so we’d put in some language that said anyone who votes for the creation of this funding stream can’t be a regular contributor to a publication receiving funding.

The newspaper fund isn’t likely to get done this year, but I wanted to at least ask the SSFC to think about it.

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3 comments so far

  1. Nanank on

    . In July of 2011 I put out a blog that hit many of the same high notes; a do-or-die call to arms for MLSs to take control of their deisnty. It presented a vision of tomorrow with and without change. My goal was to ratchet up the undercurrent action is needed now with a firm, candid message an ultimately, start to see action. The piece circulated and I was hopeful. It’s October now. So, suffice it to say that point by point, I am in 100% agreement with your assessments. I see an industry prime for full scale evolution: a tense, threat ridden landscape, a number of environmental forces closing in, a handful of talented and tenacious leaders poised to start the march accompanied by a handful of innovative, thoughtful vendors prepared with an arsenal of new tools. Being part of one of those vendor teams (the un-tired vendor) coupled with my personal commitment and passion about the success of our industry, I want the evolution to start proactively while there is still enough value and relevancy (i.e. NOW); rather than reactively (being seriously thrust upon us from the outside).

  2. ,First, it seems a bit disingenuous to blame ObamaCare (orany other government program) for what these lame corporate managers do. Employershave been pulling this crap on workers since the dawn of time. They found a new way to blame cutting hours, wages, benefits, etc….on the government and people are stupid enough to drink the Kool-Aid. If big corporations want to continue to mistreat workers they will always find ways to get it done. ObamaCare just gave them a new “excuse”. Let me add just a little background for context on these cuts before blaming it on some lame manager. I have been there almost three years and during that entire time the company has had unlimited overtime. I have talked with others that have been there over ten years and it has always been that way. Not every program is the same but in the one where I work every month there has been a minimum of 4000 overtime hours needed and no top limit. Our overtime is not only unlimited but also unscheduled which means if you want to work just show up and log in. There is no need to ask permission or work an minimum time if an employee wants then can stop and login and work an hour is that is all the time they have. Now some programs do require you to schedule your overtime due to dead times. So, with over ten years of history allowing employees to work all the overtime they wish this is a complete change of direction. What do you think your employer would do if your compensation package were mandated to increase from 75% to 100% of its current amount? My guess is things would change and not because they are some lame crap managers.   Xel said,And second, as for buying my goods at non-chain stores, well, I would but it costs 30% more on average in the checkout line. So I can buy 12 eggs, or only 8. I do shop the local stores when they have sales running on items I need, but unless it’s on sale I don’t shop those stores.  So if you are only buying at the cheapest price why blame companies when they move jobs overseas for slave labor. After all, you are the one that demands they use slaves to keep your prices low. Here is an idea if we want jobs to come back to America they can repeal the 13th amendment. That way businesses can use American slaves and not have to smuggle in illegal’s to do their slave labor. This is the mindset which has been indoctrinated into the American public. Quality and service do not matter just find the cheapest price so you can buy more and more and more. Then when it breaks just buy more and more again. Whatever you do just buy, don’t make enough money anymore no worries borrow against your house we will keep that interest rate low. That is the foundation our current economy is based. Build nothing just consume and all will be well.   So if we’re going to blame the consumer, maybe there’s a little blame left over to throw at the companies that sell to WalMart. I mean they have screwed the little guy, too, by choosing to sell products to WalMart at prices far lower than my local merchants can get. This deserves its own post. Coming soon!  Badger

  3. Hafiz on

    So true John. People buy from people and with your blog you have to make a lanstig impression so people will come back. I am still new at this, but I am trying. I want to have good content and be real. Sometimes it seems a little harder over the internet to do this as you are masked behind the internet and not face to face with the person. Maybe adding content about yourself helps people to realize that you are a real person. I had wrote an about me post.Actually I like the look of your blog. It looks simple and professional. I have recently been looking around for themes. A couple that I came across myself that I like are the Thesis Theme and the Frugal Theme. You do have to pay for them. I am still trying to decide. Stay in touch!Jim


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