Senate expands officer stipends, considers future improvements

Ryan P. Cruz, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government held their final meeting of the semester on Friday as senators reflected on what they have done during the fall term while discussing potential changes and areas of improvement for the Spring 2020 semester.

One of these changes will be an emphasis on inclusion and accessibility, something City College as a whole is intent on making a top priority, as seen in the College Planning Council’s decision to approve a new mission statement saying “The College is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory, and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student.”

Vice President of External Affairs Lucas Perry suggested the senate includes more languages in its official releases and signage.

“Something I believe has been done in the past, but has been neglected recently,” Perry said.

In addition to more languages, the new Student Accessibility Advocate Alex Morris hopes to raise awareness among campus clubs to consider the needs of disabled students in their events and literature.

Another focal point in the discussion was getting more students involved in the senate.

“We didn’t really do a good job with visibility with ASG,” said Ezekiel Contreras Forrest, vice president of operations and finance.

Forrest, who oversees the budgets from the student representation and activity fees, also reported the senate has spent less than half of the money allocated for this year, and members should find ways to spend more effectively in the upcoming semester.

Members debated over an item presented by Bruce Wang, commissioner of international student affairs, that would have spent over $10,000 on iPads for all members of the senate. 

“I think we could use our money for better things,” said Student Trustee Kenny Igbechi, who expressed concern over the suggestion of a purchase that wouldn’t benefit students as a whole. “There are other ways of using student funds.”

The senate decided not to move further and the item was not approved.

They did, however, approve the expansion of officer stipends, which were approved earlier this semester.

The stipends, which pay eligible officers $1,125 per semester, will now be available to international students provided they qualify with the international office as low-income. 

The motion was approved without opposition and the stipend policy was officially amended to include these changes. This was the only official action taken in this week’s meeting.

The senate will reconvene in January to begin the spring semester.