Student senate opposes creation of new chief of staff position due to pay increase
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 01:04
Miami University Associated Student Government (ASG) opposed amending their bylaws with the creation of a chief of staff position with a vote of 16-16. Bylaw changes require a two-third majority vote rather than a simple majority, according to President of Senate-Elect Peter Dougherty.
Student-Body President-Elect John Stefanski and Secretary of Executive Cabinet Nick Miller authored this bylaw change. The creation of the chief of staff would change the secretary of executive cabinet position to include any duties assigned by the student-body president in addition to the responsibilities of the secretary of the executive council.
This bylaw change will affect the position of Secretary to the Executive Cabinet Elect Forrest McGuire who was appointed by Stefanski and approved by student senate earlier this month.
The chief of staff would have received a salary of $2,821, which is comparable to senate elected positions such as secretary for alumni affairs rather than president appointed positions such as technology director.
Treasurer Mike Trivelli said the current salary for the secretary to the executive cabinet is $2,257 so it is a $564 proposed increase.
Technology Director Matt Weber said an appointed officer should not receive the same level of pay as a student senate elected officer.
“As an appointed officer I still have qualms about appointing someone to a secretary-level pay raise,” Weber said.
“Nick put in just as much work as anyone on cabinet last year and that’s the bar I set for Forrest and he understands that,” Stefanski said. “I fully believe that there should be a pay raise for that.”
Trivelli said the money will come out of the operating budget, which comes from student fee money collected by the Office of Student Affairs.
“The money is there it is coming out of the public relations budget, which is something that is going to be shrunk anyway because they are getting rid of table tents,” Stefanski said.
Senators were concerned the money for the pay raise would come out of student fees.
Senator Megan Qua said she is concerned the bylaw change does not clarify the duties of the chief of staff.
“Just because Nick did a stellar job this year, who’s to say that Forrest will do the same level of work,” Qua said.
Secretary for Diversity Affairs Jonathan Wheeler said even though the duties of this position are not clarified in the bylaw change they are clear to the person elected.
“There is no clear idea of what that incoming secretary is going to do but there is an expectation of what should be done,” Wheeler said.
Senator Bridget Fleming questioned whether or not it is appropriate to change the position of a person who was elected for a different position after the fact.
“Though Forrest will definitely do a great job, I think because this will be implemented after we have already approved him that we cannot hold him to that level of accountability,” Fleming said.
Senator Maggie Reinhart said she supports this bill because it is a precursor to restructuring ASG, which will be proposed next year.
“There are going to be changes to all the positions next year, I just wanted to get Forrest in so I could get an extra hand,” Stefanski said.
ASG also passed a bill supporting medical amnesty for students when they are seeking help for severe intoxication and a bill advocating the integration of LinkedIn into Career Services Preparation, in addition to meeting Miami Men’s Head Basketball Coach John Cooper.