Tonight, Monday, February 20, at 9:30pm, the Claremont McKenna College student Senate will vote on a constitutional amendment to raise the maximum stipend amount for many Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) Executive Board Members. Members of the ASCMC Budget Committee introduced the plan at last week’s Senate meeting. The motion was tabled until tonight.

The ASCMC Budget Committee, consisting of eight

members, met twice over two weeks before proposing the stipend increases. The Budget Committee includes ASCMC President Jessica Mao, Vice President Aditya Pai, Chief Financial Officer Lacey McLean, Campus Organizations Chair Ed La Cava, Executive Secretary Stephanie Haft, Senate Pro Tempore Miles Lifson and two ASCMC senators Eric Bean and Jasmine DiLucci. Haft and Lifson do not have votes on the committee. No other ASCMC officials were involved in the process.

ASCMC Senate (Photo Credit: Kelsey Brown)

The largest suggested increases are for the VicePresident, increasing from $800 per year to $1,500 per year, the Forum Editor-in-Chief, increasing from $200 per year to $800 per year, the Chief Financial Officer, increasing from $1,000 per year to $1,500 per year, and the Social Affairs Chair, increasing from $700 per year to $1,200 per year. All stipend increases will not take effect until the next term with the exception of the Forum Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief’s stipend will be retroactive, if Senate approves it.

In February of 2011, the Senate considered ASCMC stipend increases and approved a constitutional amendment increasing the stipend for the Ayer Editor from $200 per year to $500 per year. Senate rejected a proposal to increase the Forum Editor-in-Chief’s stipend from $100 per year to $250 per year.

CFO Lacey McLean explains that, “The Budget Committee decided to propose an increase in stipends for several positions in order to better reflect the nature and commitment of the positions. We also decreased the stipend for one position (Student Security Director). We believed there were several positions that deserved more compensation than they were currently receiving because of the demanding nature of their positions, particularly the SAC and the Forum editor.”

McLean also notes that despite last year’s $10 increase per student in ASCMC fees, “the stipend amounts have remained unchanged for several years.” Historically, says McLean, the general fund for ASCMC has been around $5,000, and with the additional funds (all ASCMC expenditures come from student fees), the general fund has grown to approximately $15,000. The Budget Committee’s proposal increases the total amount spent on stipends from $16,700 per year to $20,000 per year, an increase of $3,300.

Even with the proposed increases, McLean believes that the stipends “do not fully reflect the amount of time and effort ASCMC officers put into their positions.”

According to ASCMC Vice President Aditya Pai, approval of the proposed stipend increases would require a constitutional amendment passed by the student Senators at tonight’s meeting. In an email sent to ASCMC Senators last night, Sunday, February 19, Pai wrote, “The amendment would simply involve a ‘motion to raise the constitutional limits to the amounts suggested in this [proposal].'” To approve the proposal, two-thirds of all dorms, regardless of the number of senators voting must vote in favor of the motion.

ASCMC President Jessica Mao noted that despite the proposal’s introduction in Senate tonight, the decision to vote immediately or table the issue for a later time remains in the domain of the Senate. Mao hopes that the Senate will consider the proposal carefully and take the time necessary to make their decision on altering stipends.

If Senate does approve the stipend increases tonight, the proposal will move to the ASCMC Executive Board for approval. The proposal would also require a two-thirds majority from the Executive Board for passage. Voting members on the Executive Board include the ASCMC President, Vice President, CFO, COO, Executive Secretary, SAC Will Brown, Dorm Affairs Chair Clare Riva, Student Life and Council Chair Alexandra Cooke, Freshman Class President Demetrius Lalanne, Sophomore Class President Gavin Landgraf, Junior Class President Connor Barclay, and Senior Class President Mary Doyle.

The full proposal can be found here.

  • Green Beach Lifestyle

    Where is that extra $3300 coming from? More student fees? I don’t want to pay more just so ASCMC officers can fill their pockets. Are they going to cut services, or worse cut parties?

    • Lacey Mclean

      Student fees were raised by $10 by the CMC administration last year, which then resulted in an increase in revenue provided to ASCMC. Most of this extra revenue is currently being held in our General Fund, and this is where the extra $3300 would be coming out of. In other words, this proposal would not cut funding for anything else (parties, clubs or dorm events), nor would it cause an additional increase in student fees.

      • Straight Talk Express

        “I don’t want to pay more just so ASCMC officers can fill their pockets.”
        “Student fees were raised by $10 by the CMC administration last year… this is where the extra $3,300 would be coming out of.”

      • Green Beach Lifestyle

        Doesn’t that mean the money is coming from our extra $10. Why did we give ASCMC an extra $10? I thought it was to help give more to everything our student fees are supposed to be used for (parties,clubs, or dorm events)…not directly into the pockets of ASCMC officials.

  • Tea Bagger

    Where’s the CMC Tea Party to protest this…

  • Anonymous

    This will probably pass because nobody here gives a crap about all the money ASCMC squanders because they don’t foot the bill. I don’t understand why they don’t just double student fees. 

  • Ethics

    It’s still ridiculous that the ASCMC president gets $7000 a year. That’s more than I have in my bank account. Weren’t they talking about decreasing that stipend last year? They need to bring that back into the debate. Why not reduce the president’s allowance by $3300 (or a large fraction of that) and then use that money to pay for the proposed stipend increases for other positions?

    On another note, I strongly think the ASCMC Senate should make these changes effective four years from now, so that no one on the current executive board or Senate benefits from the salary bump. That just seems fair.

    Here’s to hoping the Senate does the right thing on this one…

    • kayla

      ASCMC president gets $7000 a year FROM ASCMC. They get an additional $7000 from DoS…$14000 total. 

      For the record, the ASCMC President gets double the salary of a Texas state legislator ($7200/year).

      • Ethics

        Wow, what the hell. I wish more people knew that. That’s really messed up.

  • Chinese Press

    Why are we giving Heath a $600 bonus? Why is the Forum editor even paid by ASCMC? Doesn’t that create a bit of a conflict of interest for the Forum in fairly covering something like this.

    • Cat

      This is, frankly, bullshit.  For the last two years, the CMC Forum Editor, and APPOINTED position, has been handed out to people (Wilner and Hyatt) who have no prior workings with the Forum and have taken the position purely for the Resume line.  Many Forum writers are pissed about Heath’s performance, and rightfully so.  To give him a raise is horseshit.  Just look at the work the Portside kids have done this year.  They don’t get any handouts from my student fees and are kicking far more ass than Heath is.

      • Alumna

        1. The Port Side does get money from student fees.
        2. The Forum EIC is underpaid, but it is strange that the raise would be retroactive…

        • Russell Page

          The Port Side does receive ASCMC funding, but it is only used to cover the costs of printing out issues. But that isn’t the issue here. The Forum also receives $6,000 of ASCMC money to cover its operation. This stipend for Heath and for future Forum editors is completely separate from operating costs. None of the Port Side editors or writers are paid a cent by ASCMC. We work for free. 

        • Jeremy

          Okay, so this is just another case of Port Side inferiority complex… glad we cleared that up. Troll elsewhere.

        • Katie B.

          wow, you’re the one who’s trolling alumna! he wasn’t trying to toot the port side’s own horn, he was clarifying a flaw in what you said about the newspaper he works at! at least he has the balls to put his name on it.

          it doesn’t cost anything to run an online newspaper. i guess the forum pays its writers, but that is minimal and the $6000 covers that. if heath so desperately needed the money this year, he could’ve got a work study job like the rest of us. otherwise i’d have had no problem with the forum editor stipend increase going into effect next year with all the other stipend increases.

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