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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ASUA sets pay for executives

    Sen. Ezekiel Gebrekidane listens as Sen. Dustin Cox discusses bylaw proposals at the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate meeting last night.
    Sen. Ezekiel Gebrekidane listens as Sen. Dustin Cox discusses bylaw proposals at the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate meeting last night.

    ASUA President Tommy Bruce refused a pay raise last night at the ASUA Senate meeting.

    The senate passed the Associated Students of the University of Arizona stipend proposal last night for the 2008-09 school year. The proposal included the stipend numbers for ASUA positions and events, including the organization’s executive members.

    Bruce will be paid $6,000, while Executive Vice President Jessica Anderson and Administrative Vice President-elect Seema Patel will rake in $4,500, the same figures from the positions’ stipends this year.

    While the stipend proposal was up for question on the senate floor, Sen. Mark Copoulos suggested Bruce receive a significant pay raise.

    “”It just makes sense that the president should make substantially more,”” he said.

    Copoulos even proposed that the additional money for Bruce come out of the administrative vice president’s stipend, an idea that caused Patel to smile and laugh.

    Bruce pushed the idea aside and said the suggestion would not be fair to Patel next year, since the administrative vice president and executive vice president share the same stipend figure.

    “”It’s difficult, because I’m setting the stipend for myself,”” Bruce said. “”The AVP and EVP have equally important responsibilities.””

    The pay raise would not be reflected anyway, since Bruce spends his stipend on ASUA expenses ranging from gasoline money to attire for meetings, he said.

    “”You can’t take money away from the AVP,”” Bruce said. “”The stipend will just go back into the office anyway.””

    Following the approval of next year’s stipend figures, Sen. Dustin Cox stressed the importance that the senate should not lower stipends for senators, an item that may be voted on next week. The current stipend for ASUA senators is $1,500.

    Sen. Ezekiel Gebrekidane made good on his promise from last week to immediately begin work on an ASUA project to serve minorities.

    In only Gebrekidane’s second senate meeting, his equal opportunity resolution item was on the agenda, the first proposed item by the new senator. The senate tabled the item until next week so that further progress could be made on the project, Gebrekidane said.

    The item looks to receive support from ASUA and leaders of student groups on campus in opposing a proposed ballot measure that could eliminate state funding for such minority-focused programs as affirmative action. The measure was defeated in the Arizona House of Representatives and will face a vote in the state senate in the near future, he said.

    “”Everything is not equal,”” he said. “”Doors are closing for minorities.””

    Several other states are attempting to pass similar bills, including Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska. California, Washington and Michigan have already passed similar measures.

    “”We are trying to take this to a bigger level,”” Gebrekidane said. “”Hopefully, people will vote with their conscience.””

    To aid in the transitions of senator-elects, the ASUA Senate approved a $400 item to provide senator-elects with heavy-duty binders from the UofA Bookstores filled with such useful materials as resolution guides and descriptions about the details of agendas, Anderson said.

    The senate also closely scrutinized and partially changed existing bylaws for use next year, a lengthy discussion that was necessary as ASUA’s focus shifts to putting things into place for the next line of senators, Bruce said.

    “”ASUA needs to have a clear vision for where it’s going,”” he said.

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