The Associated Students Legislative Council debated whether or not next year’s stu- dent government budget should include cuts in honoraria during last night’s meeting as a crowd of protestors from A.S. Program Board looked on.
Honoraria, or the quarter- ly payments made to student government officials, cur- rently ranges from about $250 to $800 and is controlled by the organization’s Committee on Honoraria but is ultimately subject to Legislative Council approval. If the council passes the honoraria reform bill — drafted in light of A.S.’s tightly constricted 2012-2013 budget — payments will decrease to between $100 and $600, a drop of roughly 30 percent across all student government entities.
Roughly 15 members of A.S. Program Board piled into the weekly council meeting dur- ing its public forum session and spoke out against the bill for nearly two hours. Program Board’s Legislative
Representative Lesa Bishop, a second-year biology major, said students already receive inad- equate payment for their hours of work for the student body.
“If you decrease honoraria then the students will have less events,” Bishop said. “They’ll need to find other jobs.”
ASPB’s Event Safety Assistant Justin Stasiuk said holding a student government position leaves little time for pursuing a secondary source of income.
“I believe for the amount of hours we put in, it would be impossible for me to hold a job other than this. … I can’t sup- port myself on $300 a quarter. It’sasifImake$4to$5per hour, and next year it’ll be $2,” Stasiuk said. “We love what we do here; serving the students with this cut is not possible.”
Off-campus representative Avi Rubin said he was swayed by the speakers’ pleas and feels A.S. officials should be paid at current rates, though honoraria funding would then be diverted from student services.
“The logic of cutting is to save association money, and the other view is that these [BCCs] can no longer completely fill in their duties without this,” Rubin said. “I was originally in favor of the reform bill; now that you’ve comein,Iseethatitisnota fair cut to Program Board and others.”
A.S. President Harrison Weber said honoraria allocations should be decided by individual boards and taken from their respective budgets.
“The reason why these BCCs should decide where these funds go is that they have been afforded the highest level of trust from the student body,” Weber said. “The lock-in fee is the students saying that they trust Program Board with a certain amount of their money.”
The honoraria bill was tabled and will be voted on next week following a BCC Chair Council meeting this Sunday, where student executive payments will be further discussed.