ASUC Judicial Council recommends that ASUC Senate allow full stipend payment to officials

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The ASUC Judicial Council held a video hearing at 4 p.m. Friday to discuss a petition asking for ASUC officials’ stipends to be paid in full.

The petition was submitted by former ASUC president zaynab abdulqadir-morris, former chief communications officer Karen Ni and former student advocate Jillian Free, and it was against Chief Personnel Officer, or CPO, Evan Cui.

According to the petition, Cui’s office did not give sufficient notice of officials having late reports; Cui pleaded guilty at the hearing, and the Judicial Council recommended that the ASUC Senate suspend bylaws related to stipends and allow all officials who receive stipends their full payments.

Cui declined to comment. Judicial Council chair Maureen Ochi Sides said the next step is for the ASUC Senate to convene and discuss whether or not to suspend bylaw 1108, sections 2.6 and 2.7.

“At this point, the responsibility falls to the senate,” Ochi Sides said. “We’ve done as was requested in the petition.”

ASUC officials’ stipends can receive deductions if the officials submit their written reports late — 2 percent is deducted every day after seven days, with officials receiving a 48-hour notice of lateness delivered by the CPO’s office. abdulqadir-morris introduced a senate resolution waiving her stipend reductions during the school year, but the resolution was not passed.

While the resolution was not passed, abdulqadir-morris said this ruling will remind the CPO’s office that “there’s still work to do” in terms of improving accountability mechanisms. She also noted that while some officials were late with their reports for personal reasons, “the accountability office is still very equally liable.”

“Me, Jillian and Karen got together and started to put together the common theme in all (the) stories, which was that we were never explicitly told,” abdulqadir-morris said.

Both abdulqadir-morris and Ochi Sides said they hoped the senate would address the recommendations as soon as possible.

abdulqadir-morris added that the way the senate rules will show whether the senators value “individuals” or “the institution,” and that the process of having the bylaws suspended is “unnecessarily bureaucratic.” According to abdulqadir-morris, the vote would go to the senate’s Inter-Semester Committee and from there would go to a full senate vote.

Ni said the petition not only shows the importance of compensating officials for their work but also the necessity for a different method for enforcing accountability.

“It is the (ASUC’s) culture that we have to hold ourselves at the strictest standards and ensure that we are the best advocate for students, even if it means it occurs at the expense of ourselves,” Ni said in an email. “But after talking with z and Jillian, I began to understand how it did not make much sense to take away the compensation from those who have dedicated themselves into their work and have achieved tangible results.”

Sakura Cannestra is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.