SGA proposes Presidental Cabinet stipend
The Student Government Association decided to postpone the vote on the Presidential Cabinet stipend at the SGA meeting on Monday, due to concerns and debate surrounding the issue.
The cabinet has proposed an amendment to the constitution that would give each cabinet member a $300 gift certificate to the Campus Bookstore per semester to buy books.
At the meeting, members of the SGA Cabinet announced that it is believed that the stipend will make the Presidential Cabinet positions more desirable to students who are interested in running for positions, because it will create more competition and will bring in better candidates.
Senior Zachary Rahn, SGA president, said that he thinks that members of the cabinet would be able to devote more time to their positions without having to worry about holding additional jobs.
"SGA has had an extremely difficult time getting people to run, and we think that this will help correct the problem," Rahn said.
Rahn and SGA Vice President senior Timothy Barnes said that the sum of $300 was chosen because there are 15 weeks per semester, which would equal about $20 per week.
"This means that each cabinet member would be receiving $1.25 an hour, which is well under minimum wage," Rahn said.
Rahn and Barnes said that according to the American Student Government Associa-tion, the national body of Student Senates, Presidential Cabinets of 70 percent of U.S. colleges and universities receive stipends.
SGA Senator junior Amy Grace said that she has not received any positive feedback regarding the proposed stipend. Additionally, she said that she pays her own way through school, feeling the impact of every dollar spent.
"Ultimately, I feel like I'm paying for your books," Grace said.
SGA Senator senior Ahmed Alkhateeb said, "I think it's a good idea because we need responsible leadership and if they get money, they will be more responsible. It makes [the position] more prestigious."
There was also talk about the recently published editorial about the stipend, which was compiled by The Crusader editorial board.
SGA Senator senior Kevin Hannahoe said that The Crusader staff's questioning of why SGA deserves to receive a stipend while other organizations don't is something to think about.
SGA Junior Class President Neal Lesher expressed his concern about how the Budget and Finance Committee will deal with funding the budgets for campus organizations that will now want to include a stipend for their executive boards. He moved to table the issue.
All but one member of the senate voted to wait to make a decision about the issue until the next meeting on Monday.
Archived on February 16, 2007.