SGA Exec. Board Praying For Pay Day
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012 00:03
All four executive board members of the Student Government Association have filed letters of intent to receive the maximum possible stipend, an amount of $1,000.
The money would be taken out of the Student Activities Fee budget, afforded by all Lyndon students, pending approval by the Student Government Body, SGA Advisor Melissa Nelson and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Jonathan Davis.
An SGA stipend, which is optional to apply for, is potentially available to executive board members and elected representatives who have served since the beginning of the school year. Executive board members can receive up to $1,000, and elected representatives can receive an amount not to exceed $50, according to the SGA constitution.
Members who wished to apply were required to write and sign a letter of intent addressed to the SGA advisor, who then reviews the individual’s qualifications and “worthiness” for compensation with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The deadline to submit for compensation was yesterday.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Nelson said she had received letters from Student Government President Nicholas Russo, Executive Vice President Sean Siciliano, Administrative Vice President Meghan Dolyak and Financial Controller Julie Austin. All submitted for the maximum payment of $1,000. Elected representatives Samantha Lubke, Laura Martin and Nicole Pfahl had filed for a $50 stipend as well.
Payment of the stipends would come directly out of student’s pockets who are forced to pay an annual Student Activities Fee. For the 2011-2012 school year, the fee was set at $226 per student. Therefore, if all seven applicants are approved to receive a stipend, the total payout would be $4,150. The fees paid by over 18 Lyndon students would go to board members and representatives.
“It’s money that should go towards us and our clubs,” said Victoria Reeves, a sophomore and Business Director at WWLR. “I thought it was a rumor at first. It’s just not right,” she said.
Reeves also cited that many clubs have seen a reduction in their budgets for next year, including the Anime club who received only $50. “If it was me, I wouldn’t take it,” she said.
Freshman Eli Hantzis agrees.
“I think the Board members should refund it back to the students. Everyone should get an equal amount. We all work hard,” Hantzis said.
“As much as I appreciate their work, and I know it’s a very demanding position, but should we really be paying them to do it?” said freshman Jeremy Hall. “Student councils weren’t paid in high school, so why now?”
Other students who are members of the Student Government Association disagree, stating that their hard work deserves to be rewarded.
“I haven’t missed an SGA meeting all year,” said Laura Martin, a First Year Representative who submitted for a $50 stipend. “I go to RHA and I am on the Curriculum Faculty Committee. I do a lot here. I ask friends for their opinion,” she said. “I don’t do this for money, but looking back now – I guess I deserve $50.”
If Nelson and Davis agree that a candidate is worthy of compensation, a presentation and recommendation will be presented at an upcoming SGA Regular Business Meeting. In order to be approved, the body of the SGA must motion to accept the recommendation presented by both the SGA advisor and Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and determine a dollar value for each candidate.