COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

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Matthew Mitnick started this petition to Associated Students of Madison Student Council

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Student Council will be receiving a multi million dollar proposal on January 26 to allocate unspent internal budget and Reserve Board funds towards a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. This allocation will be used to fund housing/rental assistance in partnership with the Tenant Resource Center (TRC).

The process to create this proposal has been an ongoing effort with the help and leadership of ASM Chair Matthew Mitnick, Alder Max Prestigiacomo, and County Board Supervisor Elena Haasl. This work has been a joint effort through and through, with support from leaders across the community, including State Representative Hong and Madison Common Council Alders Heck, Bidar, Verveer, and Evers. 

At the same time, the UW-Madison Office of Financial Aid has been working to accept incoming CARES Act funding from the federal government. Similar to Spring 2020, the University will use this funding to create emergency grants for enrolled students. Due to federal conditions, those who have not filled out FAFSA are not eligible for this University-sponsored program. This includes, but is not limited to, undocumented students, DACA recipients, and international students. Fortunately, these two funds will operate in conjunction with ASM funds to be used strictly for housing assistance and cover those not currently eligible under these pre-existing programs.

ASM student leaders and co-sponsors of this fund, Chair Jorudd, Chair Owino, Representative Worms, Representative Rupnick, Representative Li, and Director Broehm are encouraging all who share their support to sign this petition, speak at the upcoming Student Council meeting on January 26, and email the following Reserve Board members and Student Council representatives at: studentcouncilreps@asm.wisc.edu, ssfc@asm.wisc.edu, ssfc.vicechair@asm.wisc.edu, chair@asm.wisc.edu, vice.chair@asm.wisc.edu, grants@asm.wisc.edu. To get this proposal approved, we are relying on student advocacy. 

Further, Community Leaders see it incumbent upon themselves to use these funds to address already increasing disparities on campus. While there can be no substitute for the inaction of our federal and state level governmental jurisdictions, there is a sincere hope that this will temporarily reduce harm for those currently suffering. That being said, priority status will be given to students who can prove recent unexpected losses of income, severe rent burden, participation in scholarship programs that serve underrepresented students, and those not covered under the CARES Act, including, but not limited to: undocumented students, DACA Recipients, and international students.

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