Court favors students who oppose fee allocations

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled this month in favor of five students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who opposed the use of their mandatory student fee to pay for student activities they were ethically or politically against.

A lower court forced the university to stop using student fees to fund organizations such as gay and lesbian clubs and women’s rights groups, but the appeals court overturned the decision of the lower court, stating that the university should design a new method to fund student activities.

Jesse Strauss, executive vice president of GW’s Student Association, said he sees no problem with student fees being distributed to student groups with different points of view as long as the allocation of funds is in student hands.

At GW, the SA Senate is responsible for the allocation of funds to student groups. Because all student senators are elected by their constituents, Strauss said students have a voice in deciding what groups receive funding.

“There’s a student group out there for anyone and if one can’t be found, the option to start another group and use student fees to fund that group always exists,” College Republicans membership director Jennifer said.

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