Stipends are unbalanced
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 20:04
The Student Government Association’s executives receive more money for doing their work than the officers of any other student-run entity on campus.
SGA executives have historically been and are being compensated for the amount of work and responsibilities that comes along with their positions.
According to Courtney Williams, SGA adviser and assistant director of campus activities, SGA pays its members because the workload is very demanding.
The SGA presidential position has responsibilities including weekly office hours, the power to appoint positions, and the responsibility to submit a recommendation for the SGA budget, according to Article VIII, section 1 of the current constitution.
Williams said the executive positions workload is too demanding to hold another campus job.
“The stipends are compensation for the work, which is done during the year. Because SGA requires so much work, these students are unable to hold additional campus jobs; as such, the stipends are provided,” Williams said.
Most organizations are not receiving compensation; however, some student-run enterprises are able to give some payment to students who work there.
No student organization is able to compensate its members, but SGA serves a function to the university that makes it unique.
There are other student-run entities on campus distinct from organizations, which are attached in some way to university departments. Those organizations are charged with carrying out some service to the university and, like SGA, they are able to compensate some of their members. For example, Ambassadors and The Maroon are able to offer some compensation to some of their members.
Others, such as LUCAP, have compensated their members in the past, but due to university budget cuts have had to scale back their compensation, Mackenzie McMillian, Loyola University Community Action Program chairman, said.
“Historically, the executive board members receive between $150-250 per semester depending on position rank. Due to the institution’s budget cuts during the spring 2013 semester, none of the executive board members will receive any payment,” McMillian said.
Still other entities and student organizations are able to serve as work study employers, and some members are able to use their affiliation as a work study assignment.
Michael Giusti, senior media adviser, said that until a few years ago, The Maroon paid $900 to the members of the editorial board. However, recent budget cuts have caused the payments to no longer include the newsroom staff. Several donors, including the R. Tom Bell Scholarship and SendKer Fellowship Scholarship are endowed funds that allow The Maroon to pay some positions.
“It is a moral obligation to compensate them, even in this small way because of the amount of work we ask them to do, it is almost immoral to not compensate them,” Giusti said.
The newsroom staff working at The Maroon is able to take away skills that will give them valuable work experience and assist them in a future job search after graduation, Giusti said.
The student fee is never used to pay the workers’ compensation; on the other hand the business staff is always paid out of the advertising revenues they generate, Giusti said.
“While sales experience is a tremendous opportunity, I am not the only place on campus or in New Orleans that they can go to get this while they are in school,” Giusti said.
Brian Gibbons, former SGA director of finance, said the money given as compensation to SGA executive members is paid for by the students.
Khaled Badr, SGA president, refused multiple requests to comment about compensation.
But just because some members within the organization are getting paid, this does not drive the students to their leadership positions.
Sean Rose, SGA senator, said, “There is no compensation for being a student leader that I am aware of. Compensation is not why we are senators.”
The senators and The Maroon reporters provide services to their entities as volunteers.
But regardless of the reasons the organizations pay their members, Gibbons said the compensation provides a higher responsibility for SGA executive members.
“Because they are getting paid, they do not deserve to be complacent in any way,” Gibbons said.
Lucy Dieckhaus can be reached at email@example.com
Correction: March 15, 2013
Elections are being held in the One Loyola room in the Danna Center.