The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 20th

Pay them: Student Congress leaders deserve and need compensation for their service

Paying certain members of Student Congress could encourage greater commitment to the organization.

For too long, Congress has been faced with a dedication deficit. This past year, only one undergraduate returned from the previous Congress, who has since resigned.

Other parts of student government do not have such an extremely high turnover rate.

Then again, other parts of student government have paid positions.

Some might not see the justification in paying leading Congress members.

But you do not have to take an Econ 101 course to know that creating incentives for better work can achieve results.

A small stipend for leading Congress members is not a handout. It’s a way for the student body to encourage greater commitment to an elected position.

The paid positions should include the speaker, speaker pro tem and committee chairmen.

A modest monthly stipend that comes directly from existing student fees could go a long way in encouraging members to stick with Congress and climb the ladder of leadership.

It would introduce an element of competitiveness that is sorely needed.

And when members stick around, they better understand the process. A body of neophytes cannot possibly be as productive or effective as a veteran group.

And of course, paying members at the top of the hierarchy has its own benefits.

Being paid from student fees makes these members financially beholden to the student body — not just symbolically indebted.

Good work deserves a good reward.

With no paid positions in Congress right now, there is little initiative for those who care to work harder than those who want to add student government to their resume.

It is time for this to change.

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