Execs keep compensation

The majority of the student government voted to keep the amount of the tuition waiver the student government executive members receive at 12-credit hours Wednesday night.

With a vote of 10-16-0 senate members rejected a compensation decrease to nine-credit-hours.

Roberto Luna, a junior finance major, and one of the bylaws’ authors said he was disappointed the senate is not being financially responsible during a nationwide deficit.

“Something needs to be done about it-but I guess this wasn’t the way,” Luna said.

Luna read submitted letters from student body presidents from Illinois State University and the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, who said they were in favor of the bylaw change.

“(The students) wanted it and the compensation could have allocated more money for programs,” Luna said.

A semester record of audience participation was set when four Eastern students spoke in favor of the bylaw change.

Michael Stopka and Zach Caskey, senate member who resigned last semester, spoke during the audience participation Wednesday telling the senate members to vote the way the student body would vote.

“They keep saying that students do not come (to senate meetings) and when they do show, their voices aren’t heard,” Stopka said.

Stopka, a senior political science major, said the senate voting against the bylaw change will hurt the student body’s already low opinion of the organization.

“I believe that they showed that they do not take fiscal responsibility and the students money seriously,” Stopka said. “This is the second time this year that they voted down legislation dealing with executive compensation.”

Stopka said the members of senate do not see budget problems because they have ambitions to some day be executives and they do not want to cut their future pay.

“(The new senate members) have to remember to have courage-being the minority when you’re voting is OK,” Stopka said.

Stopka was a student senate member for four semesters.

“Shame on each and every one in here if you will vote against this bylaw change because you want to seek an executive compensation in the future,” Stopka said.

Dan Nadler, the vice president of student affairs, said he preferred the executive compensation bylaw change be decided by Eastern students not the administration.

“It’s common for institutions to provide some kind of compensation for these kind of leadership positions,” Nadler said.

Torres, a senior political science major, said she was disappointed that her fellow senate members were not representing the student body but instead their own interests.

“It’s a shame there was more discussion on a bill for food for the last student government meeting than the budget,” Torres said.

Student Senate Speaker Jarrod Scherle said the senate would have to live with its decision.

Because Scherle, a senior finance major, will be a first year graduate student when he takes office the tuition waiver will cover eight-credit hours.

“It’s an incentive to hold the executives accountable,” Scherle said.

The senate also approved four budget requests for the University Board, the Student Recreation Center, the Apportionment Board and the student government.

Ken Baker, the director of campus recreation, said he was glad he will be able to purchase new equipment next year.

Baker said he plans on purchasing at least two new elliptical machines.

Baker said the Rec center did not change its budget request from the previous year.

The senate voted down a bylaw change that would prevent Student Senate members from resigning after they vote for Student Senate speaker elections.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].