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The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senate ponders pay cut

    ASUA Senator Stephen Wallace, an undeclared sophomore, listens to Senator Andre Rubio, a political science junior discussing potential cuts to the ASUA stipend on Wednesday evening at the weekly ASUA senate meeting in the Tubac room of the Student Union Memorial Center.
    ASUA Senator Stephen Wallace, an undeclared sophomore, listens to Senator Andre Rubio, a political science junior discussing potential cuts to the ASUA stipend on Wednesday evening at the weekly ASUA senate meeting in the Tubac room of the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona senators suggested lowering the 2009-2010 senators’ stipends by $300 at Wednesday’s meeting.

    Sen. Kayla Patrick said the senate should consider lowering next year’s stipends from $1,500 to $1,200.

    Patrick said although $300 dollars doesn’t seem like a lot, an extra $300 from each of the 10 senators amounts to $3,000 dollars in savings.

    “”That’s a substantial amount that could help us with the changes that are being made,”” Patrick said.

    Sen. Jimmy MacKenzie said the money taken out of the stipends could be put to better use in this budget crisis.

    “”We must be a lot more savvy with the way we spend our money in ASUA,”” MacKenzie said.

    Sen. Andre Rubio said he was in favor of reducing the stipend but wanted to make sure the stipends were given out in proportion to the work each position does.

    Sen. Stephen Wallace said a $300 reduction in each senator’s stipend is a lot because many senators spent around $200 on campaign materials.

    If passed at the next senate meeting, the stipend reduction would affect the 2009-2010 ASUA Senate, which will officially take office on May 2.

    Rubio also proposed a $200 ASUA-run scholarship for students who take diversity emphasis courses.

    Rubio said a scholarship operated by the student government is something that could help combat the budget problems and help UA students.

    “”I think an increase in tuition will probably coincide with a decrease in opportunities for financial aid,”” Rubio said. “”I feel like the student government should maybe do something about this.””

    The scholarship would be awarded to students who not only took a diversity emphasis course, but who are also doing a project or research that could bring prestige to the UA or help the community, Rubio said.

    Diversity emphasis courses are indicated on a student’s Student Academic Progress Report (SAPR), he said.

    Other universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oregon, have similar scholarships run by their student governments, Rubio said.

    Rubio said if the funding for the scholarship was approved he could select recipients for this school year. However, some senators said they thought it would be better to perfect the scholarship and wait until next school year to award it.

    Rubio said he didn’t mind allowing next year’s senate to vote on the scholarship, he just wanted to bring the idea of an ASUA scholarship to the senate.

    “”I do think the senate should support something like this and the senate-elect should continue this theme of encouraging people who do have a commitment to encouraging diversity,”” said Sen. Gabriella Ziccarelli.

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