Debate sparks over SGA president’s summer stipend

SGA president Kofi Mensah has been given a metaphorical slap on the wrist by the executive committee after questions regarding his payment over the summer were raised. Mensah receives a stipend of $175 per week during the summer, and some SGA senators do not believe he earned it. After compiling a list of work he completed over the summer, Mensah said he felt he earned his stipend and that the problem lied in the vagueness of the constitution. “When you look at the SGA constitution it doesn’t list anything as to what the presidential duties are during the summer,” Mensah said. “How are you holding me accountable for something you didn’t communicate that you expected of me?” Chair of the Student Activities Committee Amanda Adams said she was disappointed with the amount of work shown on the list. “[The list showed] an amount of work, but it doesn’t convey to me a whole $2,000 plus worth of work,” Adams said. “I would have loved if you had followed up with us throughout the summer, but seemed like there are gaps of time [that you didn’t work].” In conjunction with confusion about the constitution during Mensah’s election campaign, Chair of the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Environmental Ethics Gregory Herman said he believes that “glitches” in the constitution need to be fixed. Speaker of the Senate Claire Chevrier said that, despite vagueness in the constitution, Mensah should return some of the collected payment. “I think you should take some responsibility and give some of the money back,” Chevrier said. Mensah said he would take it into consideration, but felt he did nothing wrong. “This isn’t something I should have to defend myself on,” he said. Chair of the Public Relations Committee Nick Monteforte said, although no rules had been officially broken, Mensah had still made a mistake. “I think collectively the majority of us can say we are disappointed with what you did this summer,” Monteforte said. “The money you earned did not demonstrate the work that should be done, [but] I think our expectations were poorly conveyed. You did do something wrong because, in our eyes, you didn’t do what we wanted.”