North Texas Daily

SGA executives receive percentage of service fees

SGA executives receive percentage of service fees

SGA executives receive percentage of service fees
November 19
09:23 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

Out of a $12.77 million dollar recommendation for this fiscal year’s student service fee budget, $106,000 was allocated to the Student Government Association. However, if all executives log their full time for 30 weeks, $43,500 of that goes to them.

A designated student service fee committee puts student service fee recommendations together every spring and makes recommendations on next year’s fee allocations for several organizations.

The SGA president sits on the committee and appoints five others as well. The university president also appoints four students, one of which must be a graduate student. Because some committee members sit for two years and others sit for one, the number of students appointed per year may vary, said current SGA president and political science junior Zachary Brown.

The amount of money that goes to members of the SGA executive board can vary. The breakdown is hourly – Zachary Brown and vice president communication studies sophomore Anthony Brown make $10 per hour for up to 30 hours per week for a total of $9,000 per term. Other members of the executive board make $8.50 per hour for up to 20 hours per week totaling $5,100 per term.

Executive board members log their hours on time sheets, which are due every two weeks.

However, only four of the five executive board positions were filled at the start of the semester – director of campus involvement and business undeclared junior Maria Perez is only now joining because of difficulties with her international visa.

Anthony Brown said leftover money will remain with the university and roll over into next year’s holdings.

Last year’s SGA president and communication studies senior Rudy Reynoso said while the SGA president has a great deal of control over allocations to SGA and his own position’s salary, he doesn’t necessarily see any benefit from it.

Reynoso sat on the student service fee committee that made recommendations for how much the Brown administration would get, and he said that while he could have raised the president’s salary, the raise wouldn’t kick in until Brown got into office. Reynoso also said making such a raise would require a two-thirds vote by the senate, as well as approval from the adviser, treasurer and student service fees committee.

“It’s practically unchangeable,” he said. “To actually get a change is a very long and tedious process, and for the most part it wouldn’t be worth it.”

Reynoso said in his experience, having almost half of SGA’s student service fee funds going into the executive board’s pocket is a fair representation of the work that the board puts in.

“After actually being the president and working alongside the executives and the executive staff, I think it’s a very fair pay model,” he said.

Zachary Brown said his time goes into representing students on a wide variety of committees, including the union board of directors, the parking advisory committee and the space assessment committee.

“I serve on a bevy of different commissions,” he said. “When a department wants student input, they usually go to SGA, and they usually want the president.”

Brown said that he and Anthony Brown also oversee the work the rest of the executive board is doing and look for ways to improve. The rest of the executive board spends time working for their positions, but they aren’t limited by their job description. Public relations director and journalism junior Matthew Varnell, for instance, logs time that he spends working with the sexual assault awareness campaign.

Despite the president serving on and appointing more than half of the committee that allocates funding to his group, 27 other groups received higher recommendations for student service fee allocations for this fiscal year, including  $2.8 million for athletics, $1,075,000 million for Counseling and Testing and $960,500 for the Career Center.

Career Center student services coordinator Beverly Wilks said many other paid student positions flow through the Career Center. Part of the center’s function is to find part-time positions for students within the university, either as hourly workers or work-study. Work-study is a part of financial aid, Wilks said, and 70 percent of those students’ wages are paid with federal funds.

Wilks said more than 3,500 students work in either work-study or hourly part-time positions throughout the university. Wilks said the typical work-study student can only make a maximum of $2,000 per semester, but hourly workers vary between departments.

Going into the student service fee committee meeting for next year, Zachary Brown said his priority was to make sure committee members were well-educated and that presenters answered all questions.

“I want to make sure this year specifically there’s more discussion on the committee,” he said. “Really, I want to make sure the whole process is very thorough, because we are dealing with students’ money.”

Eight percent of the student body voted in initial SGA election last spring and 8.5 percent voted in the runoff election. Zachary Brown and Anthony Brown won the election by 34 votes over sociology senior Precious Femi-Ogunyemi and communication studies senior Jake Dionne.

Feature photo: Graphic by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor 

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