By Adeeb Chowdhury
Beginning this semester, the SUNY Plattsburgh Student Association will pay its senators and council members.
At the senate meeting Sept. 17, SA President Rudaba Ahmed introduced Student Bill 16, which established the SA compensation model and outlined the provision of financial support to the members of the association’s executive and legislative branches. The nine members of the Executive Council shall receive $826 per week for fourteen weeks, and the sixteen senators shall receive $495 per week for the same length of time.
Ahmed said that such a system will compensate leaders for their time and commitment.
“Far too often, it’s a trade-off,” Ahmed said. “Members have had to choose between their leadership roles and a paying job.”
Such a choice is undeniably a difficult one, especially for university students valuing their duties as a leader but also having to be wary of their financial needs. Ahmed hopes that this compensation model will allow members of the Student Associate to avoid such an ultimatum.
The payments will be distributed in the form of stipends, administered by the College Auxiliary Services as the SA’s fiduciary agent. The stipends will be processed by the sixth and twelfth weeks of each semester and will be granted upon ensuring that the member has performed their duties thoroughly.
The senators and executive council members then discussed plans for future projects as well as ongoing programs. Ahmed built upon her proposal for increasing career opportunities and awareness in Plattsburgh through a mentorship program with alumni as well as a possible career fair, which she had previously discussed with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. Ahmed also explored the possibility of using SUNY as a resource to assist SUNY Plattsburgh students in developing their career prospects.
SA Adviser Jacob Avery provided a wake-up call to the members of the senate, reminding them that times as turbulent as these are an opportunity to step up, work harder and not be lax.
“I know it’s easy to not do your job thoroughly as we’re socially distancing, but it’s far from acceptable,” Avery pointed out.
The senate also approved a series of bylaws that clarified and expanded upon the functions of certain departments. For instance, new financial board members will now have to train with SA Treasurer Ha Nguyen prior to joining and will be referred to as finance officers for the SA.