Correction: A previous version of this article stated funding was denied based on 3-7-24 vote. The correct vote is 3-24-7. Elon News Network regrets this error.
During Elon University’s Student Government Association business meeting on March 3, Student Body President Jack Corby announced SGA’s joint committee voted to raise the executive board’s stipend to $8,000 a term and SGA voted to not fund Elon Elite’s event, open to the student body.
SGA’s budget to allocate to other student organizations is $451,422 and $217,204 of that has already been allocated to student funds. This money comes from student activity fees and the executive board’s stipend comes from SGA’s budget at the beginning of the term.
The reasons given for the pay increase are inflation over time, the pay has only been increased once since 2001 and the future minimum wage of $15 an hour promised by Elon University’s President Connie Book. The current pay of each executive board member is $5,200, which breaks down to $10 an hour, working 10 hours a week, as mandated by the SGA constitution, for the 52 weeks of the Senate term.
For the next term the pay will break down to $15 an hour, working 10 hours a week over a 53 week Senate term. The term was also extended by a week to allow the executive board to be paid for the transition week when the new board is sworn in. SGA’s joint committee, made up of their finance board and judicial committee, voted unanimously with nine students present to make this change.
SGA voted to not fund Elon Elite’s event for the student body. Elon Elite, an event proposed by senior Charlie Breckenridge, was a live streamed talent show on April 6 to raise money for the Chaplain’s fund, which serves to assist both Elon students and faculty in an unforeseen financial crisis. Breckenridge asked for $12,078 and was approved by SGA’s finance board before the Senate voted. Senator Gabby Gutierrez, also a member of the finance board, said they passed this funding in a 5 to 1 vote because it followed the finance board’s guidelines.
“There is logistically nothing wrong with it that contradicts anything in our manual, “ Guitierrez said. “Whether or not those on the finance board agree with it, and what we’re funding, we logistically had no viable grounds to reject it.”
There are close to 50 students that have been working on this event, and they hoped to have close to 150 students involved later in planning. This event would have had talent from the dance and music production departments and was working in collaboration with Elon Student Television and Limelight Records, according to Breckenridge.
“Last year, in spring, I led an event that was similar to this,” Breckenridge said. “Through student life and the studios we raised $500 for the Chaplain’s fund…This year we decided to do it again on a bigger scale.”
Many senators spoke out in opposition to funding this event, including William Wood, the School of Communications Senator.
“As your School of Communication senator…I would really like you to listen to me,” Wood said. “It is a really good idea, but in its current state this is not feasible. They teach us four things [in the School of Communications]: research, objectives, planning and execution. If you think that any of those four pillars have been met in the presentation that we got with the plan that was presented, they weren’t.”
This funding did not pass with a vote of 3-24-7.
Elon University’s Model United Nations also was looking for funding in order to attend a MUN conference at the University of Chicago. They were looking for $6,410 and this funding passed. SGA also passed an updated Financial Manual, specifically clarifying that an organization that is not open to everyone on campus, for example if it has auditions or bids to get it, can still get funding from SGA, but the event itself needs to be open to the entire student body. This legislation also passed.
Next week SGA will not hold a business meeting, but instead will be hosting a fireside chat on March 8 from 7 to 8:30 in Downstairs Moseley. This event is open to the student body, giving students the opportunity to ask questions to Book and Jon Dooley, vice president for student life.