SGA passes student pay disclosure resolution

This past Friday, President of the Inter Residence Association (IRA) Bob Just sent out an e-mail updating the student body on the compensation proposal for IRA Executive Board members.”The idea behind this proposal is a step toward raising the awareness of the work that we do every single day on your behalf,” Just said in the e-mail.Just explained the basics behind the proposed compensation and that the funding for the compensation would come directly from IRA’s budget, which is paid for by the $15 fee each student pays in their tuition. “If Res Life is paying for E-Board compensation, IRA E-Board is then employed by Res Life and cannot serve in a capacity as a legitimate student voice,” Just said.Just also described the various activities IRA has been responsible for and explained that the members of IRA and RAs have separate responsibilities. “IRA members are not RAs and should not be compared to each other,” Just said.The Student Government Association (SGA) recently passed a Public Disclosure of Compensation Act; although the timing of the act is in no way connected to the current IRA compensation issues. “I know the timing’s ironic, but it was in no way a reaction,” SGA senator Julia Michel, creator of the public disclosure act, said in an e-mail. In the act, the SGA says they will support any and all attempts to increase equitable and just distribution of student compensation through exploration into any compensation – or lack thereof – currently provided to students holding prominent leadership positions. This act supports the creation of a central database listing all prominent student leadership positions, along with an explanation of their responsibilities, disclosure of any compensation with source of funding, and e-mail contact information for the student currently holding the position. “I feel that the idea behind this bill is a great one,” Just said in an e-mail. “I think a lot of students are confused and unaware of the exact compensation that some student leadership positions receive on campus,” Just said in an e-mail.A database currently exists for faculty and staff, and the SGA believes the creation of a database for students will remarkably decrease the confusion, skepticism and ambiguity inherent in the process of student compensation. “I implore students to find out the facts, rather than fueling this wildfire of animosity toward various student leadership positions,” Just said.”The only concern that I have with this information being displayed in a public domain, is the possible mistake of trying to compare different student leadership positions to each other based on compensation,” Just said. “This kind of association is dangerous toward the understanding of what different organizations and student leadership positions do,” he said.