UW Madison Mulls Cuts To Church-Based Student Group

A controversy is brewing over whether the University of Wisconsin-Madison should allow a campus Catholic group to use student fees for religious purposes.

University Chancellor John Wiley wants to cut funding for the UW Roman Catholic Foundation because he says public money cannot be used for religious activities. But critics say doing so would amount to religious discrimination.

Student government included $145,000 in student fees for the group in its budget approved in February. But Wiley asked them to trim the funding.

Wiley wrote that some of the funding would violate the First Amendment, which guarantees the separation of church and state.

Student government leaders voted to cut their recommendation by $35,000 and leave it up to Wiley if deeper cuts are needed.

Members of the Catholic group say they're prepared to file a lawsuit if Wiley makes the cuts.