Student leaders, campus officials, clash at UW Stevens Point
STEVENS POINT -- A long simmering dispute over student fees at UW Stevens Point is heating up, with leaders of the student senate now threatening the chancellor with a vote of "no confidence."...
STEVENS POINT -- A long simmering dispute over student fees at UW Stevens Point is heating up, with leaders of the student senate now threatening the chancellor with a vote of "no confidence."
UWSP Students pay almost $600 in segregated fees per semester, with about $128 controlled by students for their own activities. Patrick Testin, one of the leaders of the Student Government Association (SGA), says administrators at the school are not following the law regarding how the money is spent.
"The way we've been doing the budget process as far as segregated fees, it's been in violation of Wisconsin state statue and UW policy."
Testin says by law, the elected SGA should have complete control over the segregated fees. But Chancellor Bernie Patterson says there are four other student groups involved.
"There is a disagreement among student organizations about who's in control. And so we've been trying to leave it to the students to work that out."
In a recent referendum, a majority of students said the SGA should be in charge, but the vote was challenged by one of the other groups. Patterson suggests that the students hold another referendum, but Testin says the student senate may hold a vote of no confidence in the chancellor at its next meeting.
"It's been a tactic that they've been using to divide and conquer student power on this university," says Testin. "It needs to stop. It comes down to the rule of law."
"People have been quick to use words like 'illegal' or 'criminal' or 'lying,'. Those are emotionally laden labels and typically are not accurate," says Patterson.
Several politicians have gotten involved in the dispute. Assemblyman Gordon Hintz, former state Senator Russ Decker and former Assemblyman Marlin Schneider, all Democrats, have asked UWSP to be clearer in its policies.