Beginning the 2007/2008 academic year, the vice presidents on the Associated Students Board of Directors will receive an increase in pay.
At its March 7 meeting, the board voted, 5-0-2, to increase their pay from 2.0 to 2.5 times the base salary. The board also finalized its job descriptions and discussed Associated Students Election Code revisions.
The positions effected by the pay increase include the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Activities, the Vice President for Business and Operations, Vice President for Diversity, Vice President for Legislative Affairs and Vice President for Campus and Community Affairs.
James Sanders, Vice President for Academic Affairs, was outspoken in increasing the pay rate. He said in three years of running, he never had an opponent, and that they needed to create an incentive for students to run for office. He also emphasized that a vice president position should be a student’s only focus and an increase in pay corresponded to an investment in the offices.
In the discussion, Kevin McClain, Vice President of Campus and Community Affairs, argued that some Associated Students employees work just as hard as the vice presidents, but only get paid at 1.5 times the base salary. Ultimately though, McClain voted for the pay increase.
“The argument for it was more persuasive than the argument against it,” McClain said. “But I’d like for us to at least address the reasons against something.”
With the exception of Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Antasia Parker, who may or may not run again, none of the vice presidents will be running for reelection for the subsequent school year, McClain said. Parker abstained in the vote.
Associate Students President Mark Iozzi also abstained in the vote. A vote to change his salary was still forthcoming at the time. Vice President for Business and Operations Stefan Kalb proposed decreasing the president’s salary from 3.0 to 2.5 times the base salary pay. The board voted this down, 1-4-1.
The board also finalized job descriptions for the upcoming elections. They decided, unanimously, that their successors spend 15 hours interning with the current officers before assuming the position.
At the meeting, Molly Ayre-Svingen, Associated Student Election Coordinator and chair of the Election Code Review Committee, proposed changes to this season’s election code. Ayre-Svingen proposed establishing subsidies for nominees to spend on posters so that students would be less deterred from running because of financial reasons. The board, however, did not approve this change.
Election code changes that will go into effect include a polling station in Red Square. Last year the station was removed because of the addition of online voting. Ayre-Svingen said she hopes the visibility of the station increases voter turnout.
“When the station is out there (voting) is obvious,” she said. “You can do it on your way to class.”
Ayre-Svingen said they also removed a clause in the code that disqualified any candidate that gave false information because it took away freedoms of speech that are protected by the First Amendment.
The board made the changes to the election process in time for the candidacy filing period. Students have from March 9 to April 5 to file for candidacy.