Debate ensued Monday night at the Student Services Finance Committee meeting over Chair Lamont Smith’s request to receive a stipend raise.
Smith presented two requests to SSFC: one asking for a 15 percent raise in his stipend and another asking for $6,500 to buy various office supplies.
Smith wanted the committee to address the distribution of stipends between the vice chair and chair and address the actual “lowness” of the stipends. Smith said the chair has 25 percent more responsibilities than the vice chair and the stipend amount should reflect that.
In addition, Smith wanted him and Vice Chair Roman Patzner to be paid for May and June with monies from fiscal year 2001.
“I just wanted to put [the request] out there and let the committee simmer on it,” Smith said. “I would rather start with a large request and have the committee whittle it down to what we need.”
Patzner said he did not think the vice chair should get a raise.
In debate, SSFC Representative Rob Staude said no raise should be approved.
“At this point, giving a raise would just be to do it,” he said. “Raising [the stipend] would have no sense of reason.”
Likewise, SSFC Representative J.D. Blythin said he has a problem with raising someone’s stipend when that person is already in the position.
However, SSFC Representative Becky Wasserman said it is not impressive to not pay people and she believes the low stipends price people out of student government.
“I wonder what it would take for a chair to say ‘I want this, I’m good at this, but I can’t do this because I need to get a job,'” she said.
Smith responded by stating he took the job as chair not knowing what the stipends were.
“It’s not entirely important that I get a raise,” he said. “I respect Roman for not wanting a raise. But I can look myself in the mirror and say ‘I deserve this.’ The stipend just seemed kind of low given the responsibility.”
The request failed in a 4-1 vote with Smith abstaining.
In other business: