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STATEMENT ON ASM FUNDING OF ‘ATHEISTS, HUMANISTS, AND AGNOSTICS’

November 15, 2012

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison on Thursday November 15th approved the budget of the Registered Student Organization (RSO) “Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics.” The group was deemed eligible for the General Student Services Fund (GSSF) in October. GSSF status is applied to groups that provide a direct service to students on campus, which is not already provided by the University.

To grant GSSF status, ASM complies with strict criteria following Viewpoint Neutrality and Eligibility Criteria. The Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC), ASM’s allocations branch, is prohibited from taking the viewpoint of the group into consideration when determining whether or not a group is eligible. This includes prohibition from considering a group’s viewpoint relative to other groups on campus, and a group’s history or tradition on campus (excluding financial history).

AHA was approved GSSF status because 50% plus 1 of the group’s work was determined by SSFC to be a Direct Service to campus. The group’s primary direct services, faith questioning counseling and secular support groups, are available and able to be tailored to all students on campus. These services, which are not currently provided by the University, are funded by the GSSF to enhance student’s educational and community opportunities. ASM takes its responsibility to these criteria and to viewpoint neutrality very seriously, and makes every effort to hold a transparent process which best serves students on the UW-Madison campus.

ASM tentatively approved funding for AHA at $67,440.01, which will be applied to the UW-Madison Student Segregated Fee for FY ’13-’14. SSFC approved 16 of 18 groups for GSSF eligibility, and will continue budget decisions for other approved GSSFs throughout the Fall Semester.

Further Media Inquiries should be directed to ASM Press Office Director David Gardner, 952-356-5807, gardner.davidk@gmail.com.

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