from The Daily Cardinal Wednesday, 08 March 2006

Student government officially places living wage and Union improvement referenda on spring electition

Written by Mike Ewing

Students will vote on funding for Union improvement and living wages for employees in the upcoming Associated Students of Madison elections this spring, following approval by the Student Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

The Committee received petitions from the organizations sponsoring the measures containing signatures of support from more than 5 percent of UW-Madison students. Finding the petitions consistent with UW-Madison bylaws, the student justices approved placing the initiatives on the ballot without any debate.

The initiative for improving Memorial Union and rebuilding Union South, sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate, would increase the amount of segregated fees paid by students in order to pay for those improvements.

The second initiative, a living wage proposal sponsored by the Student Labor Action Coalition, aims to guarantee living wages to employees relying on student segregated fees.

“It’s different from the fall referendum in multiple ways,” UW-Madison junior and SLAC member Ashok Kumar said. “This one makes it more clear to students, without just legal jargon.” This living wage proposal will hold the student council rather than the Student Judiciary accountable to its adherence, Kumar explained.

“Students really responded to it,” Kumar said. “Hopefully they’ll pass it.”

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