ASG votes to expand stipends and create a new equity representative

ASG+votes+to+expand+stipends+and+create+a+new+equity+representative

Adam McDonald, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government updated its governing documents on Friday with a vote to expand stipend eligibility and create a new position in the senate. 

The vote passed unanimously, and officers kept discussion of the changes brief after extensive deliberation at their retreat on Thursday. 

If the ASG is able to pay students for their time, it would perhaps give students that opportunity to pursue student government campus engagement,” ASG Advisor Amy Collins said. 

After Friday’s vote, all senate officers deemed eligible by the Office of Financial Aid will be able to receive a stipend of up to $1,250 each semester.

The senators debated these changes at length before voting during the retreat on Feb. 4. This special meeting was used to scrutinize the means of executing these updates.

“These decisions did not come from nowhere,” ASG President Carson Mitchell said. “We talked about it for quite awhile, and we feel very strong about these changes.”

Previously, only senate officers qualified under the California Promise Grant were eligible to receive stipends. But that left out other students who were still in financial need though they were not qualified under the Promise. 

“You know there are students out there that don’t necessarily meet the requirements of financial aid, but they still have a financial need,” said Collins during the retreat. 

Removing these financial barriers could allow students who otherwise would not be able to be a part of ASG to have an opportunity to play an active role in student government.

The funding for these payments will continue to come out of ASG’s student representation fee budget

In another attempt to hear more perspectives, the ASG added the Commissioner of Equity as a new role in the senate.

The Commissioner of Equity will serve as a representative of “disproportionately impacted” students on campus, according to the updated governing documents presented Friday. 

The purpose of this position is to give underrepresented students a voice, and the officer in this role must “serve as a liaison” and “have a developed knowledge of critical issues,” according to the document that is yet to be made public on the ASG website.

Collins said she hopes the updates will increase spring applications and that more people will be aware of opportunities to become involved in student government.

The new position will be listed on the ASG spring applications. The senate is currently planning to host elections in April, Mitchell said, to select the six executive officers for the 2021 board. 

The student senate made these revisions to further their goal to better represent the student body, However, they still have much work ahead of them.  

“Just because we approved the governing document changes doesn’t mean that we’ve seen this impact happen,” Mitchell said.