United Council Loses Funding

Cassie Scott cscot852@uwsp.edu

The United Council is a statewide advocacy group established to unite all students of the UW System. Members include 12 elected officials who serve on the board of directors and represent all 26 UW campuses.

Officials work to advocate for issues of higher education pertaining to value, quality and the student experience.

“United Council works to identify injustice and harm incurred within the UW system and work collaboratively in partnership with all impacted communities to restore justice,” the council’s website said.

They serve students through four platforms: advocacy, organization, direct services and training and leadership development. President of Organization for the council Lamonte Moore is a junior at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and explains the purpose of the council.

“The United Council’s mission is to better the climate on campuses and better the lives of the students on those campuses,” Moore said.

Moore and the other members on the board of directors decide the priorities that United Council works on. The board members are elected at the Spring Convention each year.

In the past the United Council has focused on issues such as tuition, financial aid, recruitment and retention of students underrepresented on campus and student rights.

All of the hard work put forth by the council has been stunted by the higher authority’s decision to freeze funds. In May, state legislators eradicated the Mandatory Refundable Fee, which was a $3 fee all UW students paid in their tuition.

That money then went to the United Council to work with organizations on all UW campuses. Changes or additions were made to UW organizations surrounding the issues that directly impact students.

The council mainly works with student governments, but has been branching out to other organizations such as LGBTQA groups and women’s resources programs to better represent all student demographics.

“The legislators attacked the ideology of shared governance, because the state statue gives students in Wisconsin the power to organize and seek changes around the issues,“ Moore said.

Since the incident, the money paid by the students was taken away and the United Council is currently looking to find money to ensure their organization remains operable for years to come.

“The attack forced us to find other funding mechanisms as of right now,” Moore said.

Currently the council is solidifying a fundraising plan, but Moore says he is not worried.

”As a group, we are willing to make it happen.”

The money is used to hold five to seven campaigns each year where students can come together and discuss issues like Students against Sexual Assault, racial justice, LGBTQA justice and student debt.

“During one of the first weeks in November there will be a gathering to discuss women’s issues for the state of Wisconsin’s campuses, and I encourage everyone to come,” Moore said.

To get involved and find the official campaign dates or current events visit the United Council website, www.unitedcouncil.net.? 

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