|Student Government President Criticizes Salary Report
(U-WIRE) BOSTON — Northeastern University Student Government Association president Erin Dayharsh feels that she is being nickled and dimed after receiving the dubious honor of being named the highest paid student leader in the country.
Dayharsh was named the highest paid student leader in the fall 2001 issue of Student Leader Magazine.
According to a survey of 395 colleges and universities, Dayharsh receives $24,888.95 in stipends, tuition and food vouchers. The total benefits is $4,408 more than the student government head of Marquette University, the second-highest in the survey.
Dayharsh disagreed with the report that she was the highest paid in the country.
“I don’t know what he based the survey on,” she said. “I think it could be applied to student leaders or student government leaders, it is open to interpretation.”
The survey is based on 395 colleges and universities interviewed by W.H. Butch Oxendine, Jr. the publisher and editor in chief of Student Leader Magazine. Of those schools, 155 are private institutions.
Oxendine confirmed and defended the reputation of the magazine and the survey.
“I have yet to find anyone paid higher,” Oxendine said. “I’ve done the survey for six years and it gets a lot of press from U.S. News and USA Today. You would think I would know of a higher paid leader.”
According to Dayharsh, the SGA president is expected to work 40 hours a week for a year. In return, she receives $600 a month, free tuition for eight credit hours ($4,312.50 per quarter) and food vouchers for 15 meals in the residence halls ($438.95 total).
Oxendine said he takes the survey seriously and supports his findings.
“For Student Leader, this is the highest visible project that is done,” he said. “I would hear from somebody if my numbers were wrong.”
The unique dynamic of Northeastern and its cooperative education program is also a factor in the amount that the president of SGA is paid. The president is required to work 40 hours a week and is restricted from the co-op program. While holding the position, the compensation is the president’s primary source of income.
Oxendine said that the survey creates a lot of controversy, and said Dayharsh was “embarrassed” about her salary.
“She’s been rather disagreeable throughout it,” Oxendine said. “She seems to reluctant to speak about it.”