I hope that the long weekend was a restful one for all of you. For this week’s President’s Column, I would like to provide some clarifications about College Government Cabinet being compensated in the upcoming academic year. The short answer: Yes, elected members of the 2019-2020 College Government Cabinet will each receive a $3000 annual stipend coming from the Student Activities Fee.
Three students who have since graduated – Jessica Shin, Emma Brewer-Wallin, and Rose Whitlock – launched a ballot survey question during College Government Elections 2017 to determine if the student body wanted part of their Student Activity Fee to be used towards providing a $3000 annual stipend to College Government Cabinet members. The campaign aimed for this to go into effect for the 2019-2020 academic year, in order to coincide with the next Guaranteed Percentage review cycle (when the percentage allocations of the Student Activities Fund are adjusted). This received a majority ‘Yes’ vote from the student body, hence, it is coming into effect for the 2019-2020 College Government Cabinet.
Currently, members of College Government Cabinet do not receive any stipend for doing what we do. I truly love what I do and find it meaningful, but realistically speaking, I would not be able to serve as your College Government President if I was not on a scholarship and had to work a large number of hours to supplement my income. That is true for many of the other Cabinet members too – we do hold other on-campus jobs besides fulfilling the responsibilities of our Cabinet positions.
The inaccessibility of Cabinet positions from a financial standpoint has been one reason why candidates standing for elections are few. The hope is that with the provision of a stipend, it would remove financial obligations, free up time, and allow more students to consider serving as a member of College Government Cabinet. The exact details of the stipend (e.g. whether it will be paid as a whole amount at the start of the year, or in parts over two semesters) are still being worked out, but I hope to have more specific information in time for the Elections Info Session on Feb. 26, 6:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., in Pendleton East 139.
I hope that in the upcoming College Government Elections, the student body will remain active and very engaged in the entire process, especially as part of your Student Activities Fee will now go towards paying members of Cabinet! Please also do encourage your friends to run – from personal experience, had my best friends at Wellesley not pushed me to consider running for College Government President, I would have thought myself too awkward and too unconfident to be doing what I currently do.
As always, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns, or come to my office hours from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Mondays or 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, in the College Government/Bursar’s Office in the 2nd Floor of Lulu, next to the Lulu Resource Room and Mail Services.
Kimberly Chia Yan Min ’19
College Government President 2018-2019