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Student Government: SG receives pay raises

Most paid positions within Student Government (SG) will receive a pay raise starting July 1.

Some senators voiced their disagreement when the Senate passed the executive, legislative and judicial appropriation bills – legislation that confirms each branch’s budget.

Senator Charles Sherrard said that most students in SG aren’t involved for the monetary aspect.

“I don’t believe raising someone’s pay is going to make them work more,” he said.

Daniel Shelnutt, chair of the interim funds transfer committee (IFTC) and sponsor of the bill, said the raises were necessary to keep quality people on staff.

“It’s to keep our elected officials, to keep competitive and to keep efficient,” he said.

Student Body President Greg Morgan said the pay raises help, but do not change why students get involved with SG.

“We’re still not doing this for the money,” he said. “I’m still expecting people to put out the best-caliber work possible.”

The executive branch, which has the most paid positions at 17, will cost less to fund this year since fewer people are employed.

Instead of 25 paid positions costing $168,310, the 17 positions will cost $135,037. Most positions received a raise of $1 or 75 cents, while two positions – Marketing Director and Marketing Associate Director – received pay cuts of $1 and 75 cents, respectively. These two positions, however, will be able to max out at 30 and 25 hours per week instead of 25 and 20, respectively. Five positions will not see hours per week increase and nine will see a decrease. A new marketing coordinator position will receive $8 an hour at a maximum of 15 hours per week.

Student Body Vice President Thomas King said the pay adjustments were made to stay consistent within each branch of SG.

The top two in each branch will receive $10 an hour, with differing maximum hours allowed. The pay rate for those underneath the top two differs for each branch.

Fixing A&S fee governanceSG has worked with the University to draw up a Memorandum of Agreement that better defines SG’s control of Activity and Service (A&S) fees.

A&S fees come from students’ tuition. Each student is charged $8.79 per credit hour plus a flat fee of $7 that goes into the A&S pot. For 2008-2009, SG has $10.9 million worth of A&S fees to distribute.

The memorandum is to replace the rider bill that was attached to the A&S Fee Allocation Bill. The allocation bill must be signed into law before the end of the fiscal year, June 30. The memorandum is a separate document that needs to be signed by the Senate president, student body president, Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall and President Judy Genshaft.

The memorandum is similar to the rider bill in that it requires all A&S-funded entities to spend their A&S dollars in accordance with state law. It also requires SG and Student Affairs to submit a quarterly report of transfers, expenditures and generated revenue.

It differs, however, because it requires transfers that are either 5 percent or more of the budget or exceeding $5,000 to be approved by the IFTC. Previously, it was any transfer exceeding $250. In order to be denied, the IFTC must find the request to be against University or State Statutes, according to the memorandum.

The memorandum does not address where revenues generated by A&S fees will go, a point of contention between Student Affairs and SG.

“We’ve pushed the envelope as far as we can,” King said, adding that SG will continue to work with Student Affairs to figure out who should control that money.

Dean of Students Kevin Banks said the University supports the memorandum, but there is still work to do to carry out the obligations outlined, citing examples of how to request transfers and how the mandated quarterly budget report should be set up.

The Senate also formally passed the resolution that asks the State Attorney General’s office to define what allocation and expenditures mean within the state statutes and to inquire whether SG has the authority to make rules that govern those who use A&S fees.