Senators no longer have ‘incentives’

Senators will no longer be able to receive an extra $150 if they work exceptionally hard — for now, at least — because it’s impossible to do so.

The senate incentives — legislation passed in the spring that allowed most senators to receive $150 if they went above and beyond their normal workload — was removed from Senate documents because it violated policies, according to a bill passed Tuesday.

“It would not be feasible, it would not be effective, and it would be very time consuming,” said Bruno Portigliatti, the bill’s author.

Last year’s senate put the incentives into statutes, but since there was no way to enforce these rules, the statutes were violated, Portigliatti said.

To qualify for the incentive, a senator must report what they’ve done every month and work at least 100 hours.

To prove the senator has worked enough hours, there would need to be a standardized clock-in/clock-out system. Student Government adviser Gary Manka said this would be impossible.
“From a logistical perspective, it’s basically a nightmare,” he said, since there is no way for someone in SG to keep track of the hours.

Only one senator, however, has applied since the incentive’s inception, and there is no way to regulate the process, said Portigliatti. The senator didn’t receive the $150 incentive.

In addition to the 100 hours, the legislation required senators to submit a two-page reflection paper with each report, explaining how their actions in SG have helped the University.

They must also explain why they think they deserve the incentive and be in good standing with the senate, meaning they regularly attend senate meetings and contribute to discussions. The incentive would have been paid for by Activity and Service (A&S) fees and would have been divided once a semester during fall and spring but not during the summer.

Senators who hold leadership positions, which are paid, did not qualify for this incentive.

Some senators fear, however, that the idea of incentives will die since statutes were eliminated.

Sen. Ralph Reid said he’s against eliminating the incentives because the senate fought hard for it last year.

“My biggest fear is that if we strike things, the issue gets dropped and it never comes back,” he said.

Other senators, however, thought that they needed to start from scratch.

“I don’t think that there’s any threat of it not coming up again,” he said. “What we have right now is basically a piece of paper — it’s useless.”

The Rules, Judicial and Legislative Committee, which is in charge of rules and procedure in senate, intends to present a new plan for a similar program in two weeks, he said.