SBP Vetoes Stipend Reform Bill

 Disclosure: I am a member of Student Congress and a cosponsor of the bill in question

Student Body President Will Leimenstoll has vetoed the bill which would eliminate the future Student Body Vice Presidents’ stipend of $2,400. The bill in question was passed by a super majority of the Congress. The Student Body President (SBP) has claimed that the elimination of the stipend would harm the accessibility of the position and there have been claims that the current Student Body Vice President (SBVP) sees an overall loss of money in his/her position.

Members of Congress pointed out, however, that the procedures do exist to have Student Government Officials compensated for related expenditures.

The loss in accessibility was hotly debated in Student Congress on the night the bill was passed, and more than two thirds of Congress decided that accessibility was not harmed by the elimination of the stipend. The reasons for this were:

A) The stipend was not substantial enough to compensate for a part-time job

B) To get enough experience to be a decent candidate for SBVP, the applicant must have been involved in relevant student government organizations that receive no remuneration, and

C) Past SBVPs have been able to find a balance between their duties, a part time job, and academics.

Members of Student Congress pointed out that no other student organization on campus is allowed to grant stipends to officer positions that do not have codified duties over the summer. In the Committee Meetings last Tuesday, the Rules and Judiciary Committee reported legislation to extend the SBVP’s duties over the summer unfavorably, making it unlikely to pass.

Now, the bill will be sent back to Student Congress on Tuesday, and Congress will vote on whether or not to override the veto. The override will require a majority similar to the one that passed the initial bill, and will be taken without debate. However, due to recent changes in Congress’s Standing Rules, any constituent may speak for 2 minutes on agenda items (such as the veto vote).

Make sure that your voice and opinions are heard by coming to Student Congress at 7:30 in Gardener 309.

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