This year’s ballot initiative regard compensating the members of College Government cabinet. According to the handout attached to the Senate minutes “A vote “yes” supports this proposal to create…“College Government Cabinet Compensation Fund. Members will be paid twice a semester, totaling to $3,000 by the end of each academic year (except the House President’s Council College Government Liaison, who will receive $700 from this fund, which totals $3000 with the existing $2,300 House President Stipend).” According to this handout, the money will come from using 3.5% of the Student Activities Fund.
Regarding why Cabinet require compensation when other organizations do not, a handout during Senate on March 14th read “College Government Cabinet Members provide a crucial role for the student body and its relationship to administration and faculty. Cabinet positions are unpaid roles that require upwards of 20 hours a week. Cabinet members hold four main roles: Chair/President of their respective committee, Cabinet Member, Senate Representative, and Academic Council Representative. In addition, some members on cabinet hold positions on Board of Trustee Committees (e.g. Budget Advisory Committee and Board of Trustee’s Student Life Committee). They hold unique roles on campus in that they work and provide service for students, administrators, and faculty. These positions take time away from other opportunities (classes, jobs, internships, work) and many students cannot afford to sacrifice work for unpaid work. Furthermore, while not all of their work can be publicized, cabinet members serve as representatives of Wellesley’s diverse student body and therefore it is imperative that all Wellesley students have access to these positions without sacrificing their well-being and financial security.”
College government is essential to the running of this campus. However, it would be incredible insensitive and incorrect to brand it the only essential organization on campus. Furthermore, Cabinet is not the only position on campus that requires 20 hours a week and a multifaceted role. Here at the Wellesley News, our Editors often put in 20 hours a week. Not only that, much like College Government, much of our work is done behind the scenes and not publicized as well. Although we write from our personal experience, we are sure that the Presidents of other organizations put in a comparable amount of time. Running an organization’s requires an incredible amount of thoughtfulness in regards to programming, reputation, legacy and community impact.
The fact of the matter is that although College Cabinet holds “unique roles on campus in that they work and provide service for students, administrators, and faculty,” that phrasing makes it seem like other organizations do not and their work is less essential to the functioning of the college. Not only is that incorrect, it cheapens the work and passion of students in other works.
Through our experiences reporting on organizations on campus, we constantly encounter hard-working students who are passionate about the organization they participate it.