The Student Senate should not give its members $1,125 stipends

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

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The Student Senate should not give its members $1,125 stipends

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At the Oct. 26 Associated Student Government meeting, the senate unanimously passed a policy that would allow senators who qualify for the California Promise Grant to receive stipends of up to $1,125. 

The Channels Editorial Board believes the work done on the Student Senate should be volunteer-oriented, and that allowing senators to receive stipends would incentivize joining the student government for the wrong reasons. 

The stipends would take about $13,000 out of the $130,000 Student Representation Budget.

Although we acknowledge that working for a government body is often a thankless job, we fail to see what the student senate has done in recent years that would justify such large stipends. 

The Editorial Board also has a concern with the process. 

If the Student Senate is going to vote to give itself a raise, we feel it should provide a more robust outreach to students and campus officials so that people have knowledge of the possible vote.

We are also curious as to what interaction the senate had with its two staff advisers in deciding whether this was the most appropriate direction.

Proposing the idea three days before the vote isn’t ample enough time for people to form an opinion. 

How, for example, did the Senate agree on $1,125 as the amount? Perhaps a less costly stipend would be palatable, but the student senate has not provided enough evidence to justify how such a large stipend would benefit the campus as a whole.

During the Oct. 26 meeting, the senate discussed not advertising the stipends to all City College students, only focusing on students from the Extended Opportunities Programs and Services. The senate said this would catch the attention of low-income students. 

This itself is setting the senate up for recruiting students who are more focused on being paid, instead of being focused on improving the campus for all students. 

The Editorial Board does believe student government plays an important role at any college and that it has the power to impact students in a positive way.

However, we believe stipends are the wrong way to encourage City College students to become more involved with their representatives and community.  

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