Senate approves policy allowing members to receive stipends

Michaela Vehslage, Staff Writer

At the Associated Student Government meeting Friday, senate members approved a policy that will allow senators who qualify for the California College Promise Grant to receive up to $1,125 per semester.

The policy passed unanimously, with only a few senators considering redrafting the policy to be more inclusive. 

The policy that was approved stipulates that only those who qualify for the promise grant would be eligible for the stipend. 

Senators who are elected to the senate by students can receive up to $1,125 per semester while senators in positions appointed by other senate members can receive up to $750 per semester. 

The money would come from the student representation fund, which currently holds $104,000. The fund is made up of the $1 student representation fee that all students pay each semester as part of their tuition.

Despite approving the policy, some senators considered creating a policy that was more inclusive.

As it stands, the policy excludes international and out of state students, and those who are not eligible for the promise grant.  

“I am from a low income background and the way that I look at it is….I see it as a ladder for low income students, kids who have never seen a school campus. This is incentivising them to do something with their futures,” said Ezekial Contreras Forrest, vice president of operations and finance.

Joshua Villanueva, student advisor said last semester, students voted to approve this policy after he noticed a lack of diversity in the senate. This semester, the senate wanted to officially add a policy to the standing rules.  

With more underprivileged students on the senate, Forrest believes that it would help provide a voice for students. 

Forrest also said that he believed the stipend could be an “extension of financial aid for low income students.” 

When the idea was brought up about advertising the stipends to all City College students, senate members said they thought it would be unnecessary at this time since it was already voted on last semester and passed. 

However, they do want to advertise to Extended Opportunity Programs and Services because they said they believe it would catch the attention of low income students. 

“So we have the power to give all students stipends and be more inclusive?” Kenyon Newhouse, vice president of internal affairs asked.  

Lucas Perry, vice president of external affairs chimed in and said that if senators were to be paid, it would encourage them to be better at their job. 

Villanueva then stated that he believes the senate should only vote to approve the policy at its current state due to the fact that a reporter was in the room and he’s not sure it’s a good idea for all students on the senate to be paid. It’s also a sensitive topic since the student senate is considered to be volunteer work.

In the case that the senate does move forward with editing the current Officer Stipend Policy that was approved Friday, Villanueva said that it is important for the senate to have “transparency” to the students about their decision. 

The Associated Student Government will reconvene at its next meeting on Nov. 1.