An ASASUD senator for the Walter Cronkite School resigned from his post Monday, the third Senate resignation this semester.
Charlie Jannetto, a journalism junior, said he decided to quit because of scheduling, other priorities and also because he does not think there has been much progress with ASASUD.
“A lot of what we focused on was concerned with the facilities fee,” he said. “I think it was pretty clear that students don’t support it … I just didn’t see a whole lot of benefit to being involved.”
The executive board expects the senators to do an amount of work not equal to that of a senator’s stipend, currently $200 a year, Jannetto said.
“If they wanted us to be just senators and just deal with voting on different issues and that sort of thing then I would be fine with what they pay, but if they want us to be actively involved and actually be doing the work that they’re supposed to do then we should be compensated more,” he said.
After ASASUD elections last April, members of the executive board proposed salary amounts to the Senate after doing research on the Tempe campus’ student government and those of other universities, said Olga Lykhvar, ASASUD director of administration.
“The senators voted on the budget,” she said. “They voted on their own stipends, they voted on our stipends, they voted on everything completely on their own … Not one single person objected to it.”
Members of the executive board receive stipends of $2,000 a year while Vice President Beth Wischnia receives $4,000 a year and President Tania Mendes receives a $5,000 stipend this year.
Lykhvar said the Senate has control of how their budget is divided and it can make changes.
“They’re the voting body on this campus,” she said. “They decide how they want things to be done.”
Last semester, members of the executive board addressed the gap in salaries at a Senate meeting after some senators brought the problem to their attention, Lykhvar said.
Sophomore Sen. Amanda Cram, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, said most student governments are voluntary, but if senators were paid more they might be more committed to ASASUD.
“When I was running my campaign, I didn’t do it for the money,” she said. “I didn’t know I was getting a stipend, but some other senators may feel that they would stay if they got paid more.”
While resignations have also come from the executive board, such as journalism sophomore Lisa Diaz’s resignation as director of parliamentary procedures last week, Cram said stipends are a way to hold people responsible.
“There’s other measures of accountability, but the stipend is a way to hold us accountable,” she said.
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