The Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) Executive Board struck down all but two measures to increase the stipends of various ASCMC officers Feb. 26. The Social Affairs Chair (SAC) and the Editor-in-Chief of The Forum will get raises, and the Student Security Director is the only position whose stipend will be decreased.
The increases were proposed after a controversial ASCMC Senate vote last week to increase the constitutional limits on many of the officers’ stipends.
ASCMC President Jessica Mao CM ’12 said that student response to the proposed increases was a factor in the Executive Board’s decision.
“There was more frustration about the transparency aspect than the actual increases,” Mao said. “The student body didn’t get enough notice about the discussion of the stipends. A lot of students didn’t feel like they were able to be heard.”
Mao invited students to share their opinions during the week following the vote, and the Executive Board discussed the student responses.
The stipend increases passed for “the two positions we feel are not adequately compensated in relation to everyone else,” Mao said.
The SAC is responsible for a great deal of the planning that goes into CMC’s parties.
“SAC is the most visible, accountable person for events within ASCMC,” Mao said. The position will receive a $500 raise, bringing the position’s annual stipend to $1,200.
The second raise went to the Editor-in-Chief of The Forum, whose stipend is now $800 per year after a $600 increase. It is the only raise that will go into effect retroactively, increasing the pay of the current editor.
A similar measure failed to pass last year due to tension between ASCMC and the previous editor, and Mao said the demands of the position make the increase overdue.
“This should have happened,” Mao said. “We’re going to make it happen now and right what was wronged last year.”
The discussion of the stipends generated student concern with the ASCMC president’s high stipend. The president receives $14,000 per year, partially funded by the Dean of Students Office. While little can be done to review this stipend at the current time, Mao thinks that addressing it within the next year is imperative.
“I encourage that students keep talking about it,” she said. “The equity issue of the president’s stipend being so much higher than everyone else’s is not, I think, something that we can look past any longer.”