Student leaders prevail

After a large cut to student leader stipends was shot down, SRSGA to recommend 100% funding this year

Published by Joe Wells, Date: September 9, 2021
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The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) announced Monday it will not be seeking to cut stipends for its executive board and some club leadership when it holds its meeting next week.

The decision is completely opposite of the cuts proposed last April. At the SRSGA’s final meeting last spring, the finance committee proposed a 50% cut in stipends for members of The Rocket, WSRU-FM, University Program Board (UPB) and SLAB Literary Magazine. SRSGA executive board members would only see a 10% cut under the previous proposal.

That proposal was shot down by the Senate and referred back to the finance committee after numerous members of the affected organizations spoke out against the cuts. Many of those members attended Monday’s informal meeting to defend the work they do, the compensation they receive and to understand the next steps to ensure officers are paid in the future.

The SRSGA budgets nearly $83,000 to fund stipends for the five organizations. That money comes from commissions through the vending machines found throughout campus. Due to the pandemic, last year stipends were funded in full using a reserve fund to cover stipend funding shortfalls.

According to Vice President of Finance Sydney Rezzetano, there is enough money in reserves to fund three years in stipends but if vending machine revenue continues to drop, other sources of revenue will need to be found or cuts will be necessary. By not cutting stipends this year, the committee will have more time to research ways to keep funding stipends as is while preparing for any possible shortfalls in the near future, Rezzetano said.

Alec Taylor, president of WSRU-FM, addressed the body to discuss all the events the radio station works to DJ around campus for various events along with maintaining a 24-hour radio station along with developing streaming and an app for anyone to access all the organization’s programming.

“I know how much we have to do and how much we’re about to start building within the next year or two,” Taylor said. “I would hate to see people not be able to participate or do what they want to do … because they have to work two extra jobs, just to even be in a club.”

The Rocket’s Editor-in-Chief Nina Cipriani said that anything she would say about the amount of work staff members do in a given week would not do them justice but invited Senators and executive board members to sit in on a planning meeting where so see what the newspaper covers, and the time invested preparing for and publishing that content.

UPB President Natalie Glenn informed the body that like SRSGA officers and Senators, their members are required to fill a number of office hours. With the work they do, planning movie nights and organizing concerts on campus through talent agents, some members put in more than the required hours often late at night due to the time difference with those they are contacting.

“In an average weekend for putting on a concert, UPB plans to work a minimum of 30 hours in one weekend … in order to make those happen for the entire student body,” Glenn said.

Both Rezzetano and SRSGA President Mia Graziani urged not only those receiving stipends but all students to attend committee and formal meetings whenever possible.

The Senate will vote on the proposed stipend budget Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. at the Smith Student Center Theater. If the budget passes, students receiving a stipend can expect to receive payment on Sept. 24.

A list of all the SRSGA formal, informal and committee meetings can be found on CORE.

Joe is a senior communication major with concentrations in converged journalism and digital media production. This is his second year with The Rocket and first as the news editor. With a penchant for asking tough questions, his byline can be found on more than 100 articles for The Rocket including many breaking news and investigative pieces. During the hours he’s not wearing the hat of student journalist, he spends his time as a husband, father and dog owner in Slippery Rock.

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Joe Wells
Joe is a senior communication major with concentrations in converged journalism and digital media production. This is his second year with The Rocket and first as the news editor. With a penchant for asking tough questions, his byline can be found on more than 100 articles for The Rocket including many breaking news and investigative pieces. During the hours he’s not wearing the hat of student journalist, he spends his time as a husband, father and dog owner in Slippery Rock.

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