The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday March 24th

Funding student groups is more important than pay


 The Daily Tar Heel editorial board opines that Student Congress officers need stipends in order to resolve a “dedication deficit” (“Pay Them”, Jan. 28th).

I’d say Congress has been faced with more of a competence deficit. In the past, misunderstandings of the Student Code and of Congress’ codified funding priorities led to bickering on many a bill and resolution. But most of these misunderstandings resulted from the actions of our former Speaker — a returning member — who has now resigned.

The officers elected for the first time in Spring 2009 (Deanna Santoro, now Speaker Pro Tempore, and Student Affairs Chair Zach Cobb), as well as our newly-elected Speaker, Dakota Williams, and Rules and Judiciary Chairman Adam Jutha, are among the most competent members of Congress.

They know the Code, they don’t seek to misconstrue it for political gain, and they work hard to reform critical parts of the Code. None of us is paid.

While officers other than me might support a compensation bill (I haven’t asked all of them), there are student organizations whose programs would be have to be defunded if officers were to receive stipends from student fees. Though it’s not yet February, Congress has already received more requests for spring subsequent appropriations than we have money to fund. If we have to spend another $3,900 per year, the amount proposed in a recent bill, on stipends, that’s a publication or a speaker or a social event a group can’t put on. Funding student organizations must be Congress’ first priority.

Zach Dexter
Finance Chairman
Student Congress

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