Stipends debated, then approved at final senate meeting

At the ASUC discussion on Wednesday night, the stipend of Academic Affairs Vice President Julia Joung was reduced.
Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff
At the ASUC discussion on Wednesday night, the stipend of Academic Affairs Vice President Julia Joung was reduced.

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At its last meeting of the semester Wednesday, the ASUC Senate approved stipends for executives and other officials — decreasing the stipends for some officials for whom the financial committee deemed a subpar fulfillment of duties.

Of the five ASUC executives, the stipend of Academic Affairs Vice President Julia Joung was the only one that was reduced.  The senate also re-evaluated the financial committee’s recommendations concerning the stipends of Elections Council chair Pamudh Kariyawasam, Election Council Publicity Coordinator Marrina Wang and ASUC Attorney General Deepti Rajendran.

According to the Monday finance subcommittee meeting minutes, allocated stipends were decided by “how much of the duties listed were fulfilled in any capacity” and the “quality of the duty(s) fulfilled.”

The senate approved $1,900  for Joung’s stipend this semester – a $100 reduction from the full amount. According to Monday’s minutes, this reduction is “meant to reflect the belief that the grants could have been handled better.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Joung joked that she was “going to come in and ask FiComm why they cut my stipend” but decided not to because she was “over it.”

The senate also voted to give Kariyawsam, Wang, and Rajendran 60 percent of their allocated stipends. Had they received the entirety of their stipends, Rajendran and Kariyawasam would have each been compensated with $1,500 and Wang would have received $1,000.

But this decision was not reached easily or with consensus.

For the second week in a row, Kariyawasam and Wang received heavy questioning about their impact and effectiveness while running the 2012 ASUC general elections. At the April 25 meeting, the senate heavily questioned both election council officials on issues that arose during the election, including misspellings on the ballot.

It was almost 1 a.m. on Thursday when the senate decided to approve the suggested financial committee stipends for the two officials at 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively. But thirty minutes later, the senate reconsidered and increased the amount the chair, Kariyawasam, would receive to 60 percent.

This change in stipend allocation was brought about in conjunction with a discussion of Rajendran’s stipend – originally suggested to be received in full by the finance committee, the senate reduced it to 60 percent following a debate regarding the attorney general’s fulfillment of bylaws.

At the meeting last Wednesday, Wang – whose stipend was reduced to $600 – said she believed “we all deserve one hundred percent of the stipend.”

Monday’s minutes cited that such shortcomings in the handling of the Academic Affairs Vice President grants forced many senators to take on “duties that the AAVP should have accomplished, such as replenishing grants when depleted.”

Additionally, the financial committee moved to give the full stipend designated for Election Council Assistant Chair Lanssie Ma to Finance Intern Kevin Idnani, justifying the decision by saying that he stepped up and “fulfilled much of the duties” of the assistant chair, according to Monday’s agenda.