SA reviews stipended positions

Student Association recently held stipend reviews, which occur once every two years in conjunction with the referendum. The stipend review committee – composed of SA Vice President senior Justin Shapiro, Head of Secular Student Alliance senior Joel Inbody, SA Director of Public Relations junior Forrest Regan, Club Sports Representative senior Hannah Allen and Director of SA Programs, Personnel & Finance Kate Rebban – interviewed students currently holding stipended positions within various student organizations.

According to Shapiro, while the committee allocated approximately $28,000 during the 2011 stipend reviews, they allocated approximately $26,500 amongst 25 to 30 stipended positions as a result of these 2012 reviews. Shapiro said that no portion of the SA budget is set aside specifically for stipends, but rather the stipend budget is “whatever the stipend review committee allocates for stipends.”

“We saved around $2,500 this year,” Inbody said. “It is possible to handle money well, even in an institution as large as this and even with a lot of positions.”

According to Shapiro, a stipend is tied to the number of office hours a student puts in.

“We met with people to make sure that they are doing the work necessary to receive a stipend of any amount,” Shapiro said. He added that stipend reviews also help to “assess the role of the stipended position to the college community.”

“Instead of clubs and organizations, we are spending this money on one person,” Shapiro said. “We want to make sure that person and that position are integral to Geneseo Student Association’s ability to reach out to the campus community.”

Inbody said the committee seeks to ensure that the stipend budget is well spent, and that it is given to students who have earned it.

“We see stipends as a way to level the socioeconomic playing field … we look at this as a way to maintain the same level of commitment that other students have shown,” Shapiro said.

“Part of what we discussed in regards to getting a stipend was that, if a position needed a lot of time such that a person wouldn’t be able to get another job, we wanted to make sure that people wouldn’t be excluded because there wasn’t money,” Inbody said.

According to Shapiro, there are several new stipended positions and a few stipend amounts were changed. He said that the official results of the stipend reviews will be published by the end of the semester and that there will be stipend appeals in the spring.