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November 7, 2014

SG rejects petition to roll back exec cabinet stipends, cites lack of signatures

Student Government (SG) discussed a petition intended to force a referendum on stipends and future projects during their second full SG Assembly of the quarter yesterday.

According to SG President Tyler Kissinger, the recent petition created by third-year Kevin Hasenfang, intended to force a petition on stipends for SG members, did not receive enough signatures to force the referendum and was not accepted. The necessary number of signatures was 762.

Although the petition’s future is unclear, one of the proposals Kissinger brought up during the meeting was the creation of a working group comprised of the student body and SG members to review the issue of SG staff compensation.

“Ultimately what we think it’d be useful for on our end is that we want to figure out if the model that we have right now for staff compensation is the best model. In particular, we want to look at what other schools across the country are doing,” Kissinger said.

SG was not able to vote on the issue of seating a working group during the meeting because it lacked quorum.

SG also discussed several future projects. One is hosting a town hall meeting in conjunction with the IOP in the coming weeks to meet with members of the student body to discuss staff compensation, among other topics.

Another is the possibility of bringing U-Pass to the College. Kissinger brought up the results of the SG transportation survey from last spring, in which 69 percent of participating students expressed their support for the program.

Students at schools signed up for U-Pass will receive unlimited transportation on CTA buses and trains for $7.50 per week. Currently, the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) is the only school at the University that has signed a U-Pass contract with the CTA.  According to Chair of the Graduate Council Anthony Martinez, this is because many SSA students have internships downtown, in comparison with students from other schools, who have internships in Hyde Park.

If one of the University’s divisions signs up for U-Pass, every student in that school will have to pay a quarterly fee on top of their Student Life Fee.

Additionally, SG Vice President for Administration Arlin Hill said that it seems likely the University administration was fairly receptive to the idea of a campus climate assessment, based on conversations with the University president and higher-level administrators. The assessment would review perceptions of inclusiveness, support, and opportunities for achievement and academic success provided for people on campus. Hill announced that he would meet with the director of OMSA and other administrators in the coming weeks.

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