MMC Senators to get pay raise while BBC senators cut

Gerard Albert III/PantherNOW

By: Joshua Ceballos/News Director

 

Under the proposed changes to the student government budget, senators at the Modesto Maidique Campus will be getting a raise, while their colleagues at the Biscayne Bay Campus may have to work for free.

On Monday, March 18 the Student Government Council at MMC’s senate confirmed SGC-MMC President Sabrina Rosell’s 2019-2020 payroll proposal. Under her proposal, senate chairs will receive $1,300 a year, senators $1,000 and cabinet members $720; these constitute increases of $240, $90 and $120 from last year respectively.

Each year, the Student Government Councils at MMC and BBC decide how to allocate the over $3 million that they receive from the Activity and Service fees that students pay each year during budget hearings. The total budget of A&S fees allotted to student government is decided by the University, and the presidents from the councils at both campuses sit in budget hearings to decide how the money is split between them.

As Student Media previously reported, SGC-BBC received a major cut to their budget from the previous year. This year BBC was allocated $699,334, a cut of about $130,000 from their 2018-2019 budget.

John Habib, speaker of the senate for SGC-BBC, was quoted in February saying that the cut was “monumental” and that senators on that campus may not be able to get paid for their work.

At MMC however, senators and other council members can look forward to higher pay in the 2019-2020 season under the new budget.

SGC-MMC Finance Committee Chair Rose Ingraham recommended that Rosell increase the pay for these positions, citing the amount of work senators and chairs put in as the justification for a raise.

“It’s important to reward SGA officials for the work that they put in because it is a lot of hours and a lot of work,” said Ingraham to Student Media.

Meanwhile at BBC, Habib echoed Ingraham’s sentiments about the hard work that student government members put in each day, although at his campus those positions may take serious pay cuts.

The total budget for SGC-BBC stipends was cut from $60,000 to $50,000 for 2019-2020, and although at BBC they wait for the new council members after elections season to decide on their pay, Habib said there is a high likelihood that some positions will have to take pay cuts and some council members may go without pay.

“Our senators have been doing a lot of advocacy work, and they deserve to get paid more because they have a passion for SGA and put in a lot of work,” said Habib. “It’s hard when you have people that have this much passion and either they’ll get paid not much or not at all. It’s a little disrespectful.”

Rosell told Student Media that initially she was going to keep SGC-MMC stipends the same as last year, but after receiving feedback from senators such as Ingraham she wanted to raise those positions to celebrate the good work that can be done by the senate.

Rosell said that she was cognizant of how it would be perceived by leadership at BBC if her council members got raises while theirs were cut, but the processes of deciding on stipend budgets are separate between the two campuses and she can only speak for her own.

“In my role as SGC-MMC president, I need to look out for the best interests of my campus, but that being said it wasn’t easy to see BBC’s budget be cut,” said Rosell.

After the elections are over, Rosell said that she looks forward to creating a friendship with the new administration in SGC-BBC to collaborate with them and help them where she can.