Letters to the Editor

SG not alone in being overworked and underpaid
Re: “Student Government dines on A&S fees,” July 14.

I have a little wake-up call for Student Government and former SG President Bijal Chhadva: Most all of the students working on campus are grossly underpaid, as are many non-student staff members. I’m sure they would have been interested in a ritzy $50 dinner on a cruise ship. Students all over campus work hard and exhibit advanced skills, without the ego boost of working in the self-important (and misnamed) SG. Just what kind of government is this? If it is a democracy, it looks a lot like the glad-handing and back-slapping corruption of Washington. SG: You’d fit right in there.

Andrew Huse is a graduate student in library science and a former columnist for The Oracle .

Use of funds by SG needed for effective governance
Re: “Student Government dines on A&S fees,” July 14.

I’m currently a Student Government senator, Residence Hall Association president, chess club president and a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary and other honors societies. My extracurricular activities take 20-25 hours on an average week with absolutely no pay. While other members of senate may have different levels of involvement, they are still expected to devote at least five hours to SG, again with no pay. The Oracle suggested that they should be forced to pay $50 to learn how to be an effective senator on top of that — a penalty for being involved.

A student athlete does not pay for maintenance of athletic facilities from his own pocket. A lab TA does not buy all the equipment himself. Why, then, should SG members be forced to?

The SG leadership retreat is designed to teach the senators and other SG members leadership skills necessary to have an effective SG. It is essentially an investment in human capital at about $50 a member. That may seem a lot, but each of those members will work for about 50 weeks to help USF students.

Where else can you find somebody to work for $1 a week?

Finally I would like to point out that SG is far less exclusive than the article may suggest. It is not difficult to become an SG senator if you just make an effort. A friend of mine became a senator within two weeks of transferring to USF from a community college. He didn’t know anyone, but he ran, campaigned on a student-run Web site for free and got one of the open positions.

If you don’t agree with me, I encourage you to get involved with SG and propose any changes. It is easy to complain from the sidelines, but it is difficult to try to make a difference.

Oleg Polupan is a senior with a double major in mathematics and economics.