Conservative Group Threatens to Sue University of Wisconsin

The organization believes a school committee cut its funding for political reasons.

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A conservative organization has threatened the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a lawsuit if the group's local chapter doesn't receive funding for the upcoming school year.

Last year, the university's Student Services Finance Committee voted to withhold funding from Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, a group that argues against government involvement in environmental issues. The committee said CFACT didn't comply with some paperwork requirements, the Associated Press reports. But CFACT and some state legislators believe the decision was politically charged.

"We have a huge problem in society," Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman told the AP. "Too many of our universities hate any diversity of viewpoint other than that of the hard left. It's appalling."

Grothman, along with eight other state legislators, appealed to UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin to reconsider her position on the issue. (Martin rejected CFACT's latest appeal for funding in April, saying that the clerical omissions warranted the committee's decision and that she had no authority on procedural issues.) CFACT wasn't the only group on campus that lost funding, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. Several other clubs lost money because of stricter criteria that require campus groups to benefit all students and not just particular groups.

The AP reported that, in past years, CFACT received between $130,000 and $200,000 in funding. According to its website, CFACT used that money to promote issue awareness, bring speakers to campus, fund internships, and rent office space.

"It takes time and money to organize a lot of these things," CFACT National Director Bill Gilles said. "There's absolutely no way we can maintain a 300-to-400-person internship program with no money."