College News

SSFC defunds proposed pay for sustainability and legislative affairs vice chairs

Rep. Dylan Resch cited the involvement of Nominations Board as a reason why sustainability and legislative affairs vice chairs shouldn't be paid.

Image By: Maggie Chandler

The student finance committee approved the Associated Students of Madison’s internal budget Thursday night, but it was not without an amendment that defunded pay for two student positions.

The series of amendments come after representatives questioned ASM Chair Katrina Morrison about budget items following her presentation to the committee Monday.

Coordinating Council — a group composed of committee chairs — originally added amendments allowing sustainability and legislative affairs vice chairs to be paid up to 10 hours per week even though these positions weren’t paid in years past.

Students in positions that are mandated to exist by state law get paid. While the mandate does not apply to either of these vice chair positions, many ASM leaders felt that all vice chairs deserved equal pay. Each position would add up to $3,360 for the upcoming fiscal year.

SSFC members pushed against this idea, saying that with the wage comes a decision from Nominations Board on who fills the leadership roles. Rep. Dylan Resch said he thought that Nominations Board was “unqualified” to choose those leaders and that the decision should come from the committees themselves.

But Rep. Jordan Madden defended the function of Nominations Board, saying he had “a fair amount of faith” in the committee.

“By having a committee that decides independently which qualifications work best for which committee prevents a lot of manipulation of elections or buying of elections I think,” Madden said. “I think being able to actually have a committee that works to nominate people within these positions is something that’s effective and not necessarily a bad thing.”

Rep. Jeremy Swanson said he met with Sydney Scott, one of the current vice chairs for the Legislative Affairs committee, and she said she didn’t think the position should be paid.

“She said she didn’t believe that her amount of work that she’s been committing deserved to be paid by student fees,” Swanson said. “If the current vice chair doesn’t want to get paid or doesn’t think her position needs to be paid, then I don’t think we should be paying this position.”

The budget will make its way back to Student Council Tuesday where representatives — some of whom also sit on SSFC — will vote on the overall budget for the final time. With a two-thirds vote, the body can overrule SSFC’s amendments.

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