The John Carroll Student Activity staff recently decided that the executive board members of the Student Union Programming Board will receive a stipend for its work at the beginning of the spring semester. This stipend ranges from $750-$1,000 per year, depending on the specific position, and will be dispensed through monthly installments. This decision makes SUPB executive board members only the second student organization, behind Student Union, to receive monetary compensation for their involvement. The stipend intends to compensate executive board members for their efforts and spur further enthusiasm about their work.
Recognizing students’ efforts is always commendable. Incentives have proven to be an effective method of recognizing strong work ethic and efforts. However, incentives in the form of monetary compensation present questions for administrators and other student organizations. It’s unclear why these two organizations are the only two that receive stipends for their work. Many other organizations might be left wondering what bars them from receiving similar payment for hard work. With such a blurry line separating paid versus voluntary efforts, uniformity is the best policy here.
Every student organization requires time and effort from its members to function properly. Since all organizations share this quality, they should also be treated equally in other regards, such as compensation. It’s unfair some organizations receive payment while others’ efforts are purely voluntary. The University cannot be arbitrary in who they choose to reward for their efforts. All executive board members of organizations should either be compensated equally or not at all.
The question of how to incentivize the continued efforts of students is certainly difficult. However, whichever choice the University makes must be fair to all organizations. Without equal treatment, the University risks the appearance of favoring one organization over the other.