SGA sees a recommended 17 percent decrease in student leader compensation

(Photo Illustration by Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

During student senate on Thursday, Oct. 17, the Joint Committee on Officer Compensation — the committee that reviews compensation for Student Governing Association leadership — recommended a 17 percent decrease in student leader compensation for the next three years.

Compensation is decided based on tuition for 14-credit hours for an in-state student, and is paid out in a combination of salaries and scholarships. The last recommendations for compensation were made in 2016.

Creighton Glasscock, student senator and sophomore in computer science, and Abbey Gilliland-King, student senator and graduate student in college student development, gave the JCOC report and recommendation on behalf of the committee.

Glassock said in considering the compensation levels, the committee paid attention two main variables: “level of commitment required” and how important that position is “to the fulfillment of SGA’s mission.” He also said the 2019 committee did not consider increasing or decreasing the dollar amount paid out in the form of stipends, but considered the compensation paid out in the form of scholarships.

The following positions are not recommended to have changes in total compensation:

  • Student Body President at 100 percent
  • Speaker of the Student Senate at 80 percent
  • Privilege Fee Committee Chair at 35 percent

The following positions are recommended to get decreases:

  • Student Body Vice President from 70 percent to 60 percent
  • Treasurer from 35 percent to 20 percent
  • Attorney General 70 percent to 40 percent
  • On-Campus Allocations Chair from 25 percent to 12 percent
  • Travel Allocations Chair from 25 percent to 12 percent

The vice president compensation was decreased and that money was moved to increase the compensation for the Chief of Staff.

“Since the last cycle, the level of commitments between the vice president and the chief of staff have been more shared than before,” Glassock said. “We decided to reflect that.”

The plan for decreased compensation for the Treasurer is to redistribute that amongst other positions, Glassock said. However, the committee recommends the formation of a special meeting two years from now to reevaluate the compensation set aside for the Treasurer and temporarily inflate it to account for the heightened workload of the treasurer in the year that Student Governing Association is audited for their Privilege Fee review.

The following positions are recommended to get increases to existing allocations:

  • Chief of Staff from 25 percent to 35 percent

The following positions are recommended to get compensation in scholarships:

  • Deputy Attorney General is newly recommended to get 30 percent compensation
  • Senate Operations Chair is newly recommended to get 12 percent compensation
  • Government Relations Chair is newly recommended to get 6 percent compensation
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair is newly recommended to get 6 percent compensation

“Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have been sharing a lot more duties since the last cycle. Especially the Deputy Attorney General has a lot of commitment related to elections,” Glasscock said.

At the advice of the current Attorney General — Peter Moyer, senior in political science and economics, — the committee is recommending a new compensation for the Deputy Attorney General and decreasing the current compensation for the Attorney General by the same margin, Glassock said.

The committee decided to introduce compensation for the Senate Operations Committee Chair. Previously, that position was compensated, but it was nixed by the 2016 committee.

“We believe that the clean functioning of this committee is essential to SGA’s mission as a whole because without [Senate Operations] it functions a lot less cleanly,” Glasscock said.

Senate Operations deals with checking proposed legislation and filling vacancies. It also looks at standing rules, the constitution and bylaws of SGA, and drafts legislation updating those documents to ensure actual practice is represented in the governing documents.

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Compensation for Student Governing Association leaders is based on tuition for an in-state student taking 14 credit hours.
(Infographic by Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

When all of the compensation changes, additions and decreases were accounted for, Glasscock said the total compensation amount decreased by 17 percent. Or, he said, a decrease of about $1,500.

“We did that obviously because it’s a tough year funding-wise. [With] enrollment going down, Privilege Fee funding is hard to come by, therefore, we thought that that should reflect internally in how we compensate our officers,” Glasscock said.

The number of compensated officers, however, increased from 10 to 14.

This recommendation is not final as student senate has about a month to submit a bill of disapproval in regards to this recommendation.

During the review and recommendation cycle in 2016, student senate authored a bill of disapproval for JCOC’s recommendation.

Kaylie Mclaughlin
My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.