Trustee Abboud suggests a larger stipend for potential ASG officers

Trustee+Abboud+suggests+a+larger+stipend+for+potential+ASG+officers

Adam McDonald, Staff Writer

City College Trustee Jonathan Abboud met with the Associated Student Government on Friday to assist in its latest goal to increase outreach and student involvement with campus leadership. 

No actions were taken, but the student senate took the opportunity to learn from Abboud who has experience both on the Board of Trustees and running for 37th District Assembly in 2020.

One of the methods Abboud mentioned was the prospect of expanding stipends for qualifying ASG officers—which currently provides officers with a stipend of up to $1,125, depending on their eligibility. 

“In our research, we’ve found that many colleges in the CCC offer stipends to their student government officers,” said President Carson Mitchell.

Abboud said an expansion of the stipends could serve to make ASG more accessible to everyone, so would-be applicants would not have to choose between a job and being active in student government. 

This is part of a larger initiative by the representatives to increase engagement with students, especially during the challenges of distance education. More engagement may strengthen the connection between students and ASG so they can better represent them.

“We want all students who want to have their voices heard to be at our discussion table,” Mitchell said. 

Research shows, he said, that community-college students often have higher priorities than being active in student government, so it can be a struggle to convince them to join.

“We believe extending eligibility for stipends will open opportunities of public service to those whom have previously not had access to these roles and responsibilities,” Mitchell said. 

The stipends would be a great incentive for new officers to sign up, Mitchell said—though only those who are approved through Financial Aid would be eligible to receive any money.

Only senate officers who qualify for the California Promise Grant receive stipends right now. 

“We believe awarding a stipend to officers with financial need would not only benefit the ASG but would subsequently benefit the entire college,” Mitchell said. 

There are currently no formal plans to expand the stipends. The expansion wouldn’t be made until the senate has had the chance to hear from the campus community.

“If you wanted to change that, you’d have to take it back to your constituents,” ASG Student Program Advisor Amy Collins said. 

Along with stipends, the senators brainstormed with Abboud new means of communication as a way of gaining perspectives to improve ASG. They discussed paid advertising to reach a larger audience, but held off on all decisions. 

The senators agreed to discuss the issues at hand at a later date. A “retreat” is scheduled for sometime this week where the senators will discuss the issues and settle details raised on Friday.  

One of these details is the ASG’s new officer position, the Commissioner of Equity. While Mitchell did not reveal much about the position in a post-meeting interview, he did say it “will be most-definitely a highly-critical role in the functions of the ASG to come.”

The student senate is set to meet on February 5th.