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Budget concerns involving stipends

Observer Viewpoint | Friday, October 10, 2008

To the Student Government Association Executive Board: As a member of senior class board, I would like to take the time to explain how I feel about the current budget concerns involving stipends.

First off, the fact that members of the Executive Board are asking for stipends is appalling. How is it fair to the students of Saint Mary’s College? The stipend is coming out of the student body’s pockets with what we pay for tuition. So you, the Executive Board say you represent the student body, but what does receiving stipends do for the students? What do we, as students, benefit from this? In addition, how is it fair to the rest of the class board members if only the Executive Board receive monetary allotments?

While I do understand and recognize that the Executive Board does a lot for the Saint Mary’s College community, people working under them such as clubs/organizations of Saint Mary’s College, members of class board, and class presidents work just as hard and put tremendous time and effort, if not more, into working with the Saint Mary’s College community. Why is it reasonable that the Executive Board receive stipends but the other class board members do not? I don’t feel that the responsibilities and tasks of the Executive Board are equally distributed nor do I feel that all members put in as much time and effort as some of our class board members have done.

Thirdly, another issue that comes up is the fact that other schools have the policy of providing stipends to Executive Boards has been used as a reason to support Saint Mary’s College Executive Board’s reasons for wanting stipends. Just because other schools do it does not mean we have to. I do not think that Saint Mary’s College can be compared to other larger universities because of the warm atmosphere the school provides and the close-knit friendships that are made on campus. Let me ask you this: if someone jumped off a bridge and told you to do the same thing, would you?

Lastly, I would like to note one last thing. What comes to mind when someone runs for secretary, student body president, or class president? The reason I decided to join senior board is because I want to meet people, have fun, and most importantly, work with others in the Saint Mary’s College community. If the decision to provide monetary allotments to the Executive Board is yes, then the joy and laughter associated with SGA is reduced to one thing: money. A person involved in SGA should want to be involved with the students, not because they receive money for their services.

The fact that this seems to be happening saddens and disappoints me. This is not what being a part of SGA should be about. Members of SGA should be thinking about one thing: how can we help and reach out to the students of Saint Mary’s College?

Thank you for taking the time to hear what I have to say.

Grace Fey

senior

St. Mary’s College

Oct. 8