ASUSF Budget Does Not Reflect Student Work

The ASUSF Senate Finance Committee has recently finished allocating $750,000 to 17 funded accounts for the 2009-10 academic year. The committee of 10 students is responsible for deciding everything from how many issues of the campus newspaper can be printed to how much can be spent on costumes for College Players’ plays. Next year’s $750,000 budget is $30,000 less than was allocated this year, due to an expected decline in available funds in the upcoming year, and unfortunately, the committee has decided to make up for the loss by slicing funded account budgets and stipends while leaving senate’s excessively high stipends alone.

Twelve of the 17 funded accounts had their budgets cut for next year, some by as little as a few hundred dollars, others by as much as a few thousand dollars. The committee said a “high scrutiny” was put on stipends, in a written letter to funded accounts explaining the budget changes. Student workers at funded accounts already make far less than minimum wage and some student workers like the editor in chief of the Ignatian Literary Magazine, Anna Shajirat, receive no stipend for their labor. Shajirat said she puts in 15 hours a week at her editing job. While the Foghorn admires students for whom work at funded accounts is a labor of love, we should be reasonably compensated for our labor. Or, at least compensated on-par with what workers at other funded accounts are making, senate included.

The ASUSF President makes $7,000 a year, far more than any other stipend position outside of Senate and the four Senate Vice Presidents each receive over $6,000. In comparison, the executive producer of USFtv makes $2,500 a year and the editor in chief of the Foghorn will be getting $3,000 next year. According to Senate, their salaries were set at such figures after a year of research during which ASUSF senate salaries were compared with similar positions at other universities. We at the Foghorn are glad to hear that Senate wasted so much time searching for justification for their high salaries but find it hypocritical that they decided not to research the stipends for other positions.

How much time was spent comparing USFtv, Foghorn, Graphics Center and positions at the other 13 accounts that had budget cuts to similar positions at other schools? If Senate was truly concerned with creating equitable stipends, why did they compare only their own salaries to those at other schools? In their letter to funded accounts, the Finance Committee states that they adjusted stipends based on the amount of responsibilities of each position in relation to positions at other funded accounts. If this is their method for deciding stipends, why did they look externally to determine the stipends for senators and not for any other account?

As for responsibilities, what has Senate done this year to deserve so many thousands of dollars more than the executives at other clubs? As you can read in President Platt’s letter elsewhere on the Opinion page, senators extended the hours of Crossroads on Thursday and Friday nights for a trial period and pressured the Board of Trustees to keep tuition low. Platt did not mention Senate’s other big accomplishment this semester, a new image campaign called “Senate is SEXY,” that was quickly canceled.

According to ASUSF Vice President of Business Administration My Nguyen, senator stipends are “an accurate representation” of the work done by senate because they are an “umbrella organization.” ASUSF President Alex Platt told the Foghorn that senate positions are equal to part-time jobs and sometimes a choice has to be made between part-time jobs and internships, and being a senate member. Platt’s comments seem to suggest that executives at other funded accounts do not face the same situation. The stipend cuts made by Senate show that in making this decision they did not take into account the time spent and sacrifices made by members of other funded accounts, a sign that Senate is out of touch with how much work students put into these jobs.

But even more concerning is that not a single cent was cut from the stipends of any ASUSF Senators, and the overall ASUSF budget was increased from $44,071 to $57,872.

This past Tuesday was the deadline to submit written budget appeals to ASUSF, and we hope other funded accounts sent written appeals as the Foghorn did. We also encourage all funded accounts to represent themselves at next Tuesday’s senate meeting when the appeals will be discussed and voted on. ASUSF must be held accountable and explain to the USF community why they are being paid so much more than executives at other clubs with similar work-loads.

54 thoughts on “ASUSF Budget Does Not Reflect Student Work

  1. I just can’t understand how you justify paying senators so much in relation to execs at other funded accounts. I really can’t.

  2. this is a really fascinating look at what passes for representation on this campus. this is a sign for even those who support senate actions, as to the need for increased transparency and involvement regarding the use of student funds

  3. Hello,
    My name is Jon Coon and I am both a student Senator and Finance Committee member. While it would be inappropriate for me to make any specific comment on our process I would like to thank the Foghorn for illuminating the student body on this issue and I encourage every student to email your representative or attend a Senate meeting with your concerns.

    If you are not sure who your representative is follow the link below or stop in to UC Room 100 across from Crossroads Cafe

    Thanks, Jon

  4. Thank you for investigating this issue. As a December alumna, I am deeply disturbed that my tuition funds are allegedly being spent in an inconsiderate manner. The alleged actions do not reflect the University of San Francisco commitment to social justice. I question the integrity of the senators, and look forward to hearing what they have to say.

    Students, I hope you continue to stay involved and aware about campus issues.

    – Courtney

  5. so my $80 student activity fee is going to pay senates wages. Sweet, why is it the more I learn about USF finances the more disappointed I get?

  6. this is why students need to get more involved on campus. I’m voting for Bobby Marquez because one of his campaign promises is to give back $2,000 of his $7,000 stipend. At least he admits the president’s salary is a sham.

  7. In response to the comment above, Bobby Marquez should focus on immediate action and not future promises. As a senator himself, Bobby was involved in approving the high senate wages. He has a responsibility to make change, not promises.

  8. I understand that there is less money and some cuts need to occur. I don’t understand, however, how Senate can be unaffected by these cuts. If the Foghorn editor-in-chief was doing a job worth $4,000 this year and he continues at this same job next year, why does he suddenly only deserve $3,000. Does he suddenly have to do 1/4 less work? If the stipends are decided based on responsibility, then why are some stipends being cut but responsibilities remain constant. If cuts are going to be made, they should occur across the board. And NOBODY’S budget should increase while others are decreasing.

  9. I would like to mention that the budget has yet to be presented to the Senate. The Senate has not voted on the proposed budget for next year, which means that the Foghorn’s proposed budget has not been approved or disapproved by the Senate. I myself am not on the Finance Committee but am on the Senate, and the distinction between these two groups is important. The stipends that the Executives on Senate are receiving have been in place for numerous years, and have not increased. Stipends were increased last year for all top executives in funded accounts except for Senate.

    Having the information in regards to what similar funded account organizations are receiving at other schools is at the liberty of that funded account. Senate and Finance Committee are not one in the same, there are less voting members from the Senate on the Finance Committee then there are at large members. It was the students of USF who held the majority vote, not the Senate. If funded accounts do not think what they are allocated is just, an appeal process is set in place for this very reason. The main issue at hand is compensating the Foghorn stipends that are suitable for their organization. The finance committee does not have the last say on budgets and by going through the appeal process, I am certain that ultimately the foghorn will be rightly compensated.

  10. Thank you for the clarification anonymous senator.
    Although the finance committee is not made up of senators by majority, senate does hold the largest voting block compared to any other funded account, and the committee is chaired by the Senate VP of business and finance. Though not all senators are on the finance committee and vice versa, the two groups are still pretty closely intertwined.
    Therefore, it is not unfair to suggest that a group of individuals in charge of approving all the requested budgets might favor their own groups over others, which is clearly what has occurred.
    There is simply no justification for raising one account’s budget almost $14,000 at the expense of every other account.

  11. Members of all funded accounts are encouraged to join the Finance Committee. As I mentioned I think what’s important is to enable the Foghorn to get the stipends they deserve. Discussing the specific reasons as to what budget items were approved and unapproved for each Funded Account should be addressed to the Senate. Each funded account is looked at individually, and this should be considered when discussing organizations receiving increases in their budgets; executive stipends were not increased for the ASUSF Senate this year. I think for the future, what might be a good idea is to have a member from each funded account on the finance committee.

  12. That is a very good point Laura, and should be addressed in order to instill a process that represents each funded account equally.

  13. So senate takes advantage of the fact that students don’t vote and don’t care what goes on at ASUSF to pay themselves huge amounts of money. Who is watching these guys, doesn’t their advisor step in as the voice of reason?

  14. Bravo on a well articulated piece that not only brings to light an issue that has certainly been on the minds of many students here at USF, but also gives hope that we can recreate a fairer budget that is reflective of the student input here at USF. I look forward to other peoples comments, not only from Senate and the Finance Committee, but other funded accounts.

  15. I’m glad to see so many people care about this issue. If we had this type of involvement throughout the process we may not be in this position. I think we all shoulder some responsibility in that regard. I want to respond to a comment made a few posts above me which said that last year senate increased stipends for all top executives of funded accounts except for their own. True, but now it may be udone. I also disagree with the comment saying that the main issue is about Foghorn editors getting fairly compensated. The issue is about all positions at all funded accounts getting fairly compensated. We all work hard, make sacrifices, and hold down full course loads, not just senators, not just Foghorn editors. The other issue is accountability. Students deserve to know why senate’s budget was increased by nearly $14,000 when almost everyone else is having their budget slashed. Those are the main issues at hand.

  16. I’m not only glad that this piece was written, but that students are taking the time to read and comment. Since each student helps fund these accounts I think it’s essential they understand the distribution of money. The part that bothers me most about the situation is Alex Platt’s comment that Senate is like a full time job, insinuating that most paid account positions aren’t. As a member of the Foghorn staff I can confirm that each of us puts in at least 20 hours a week. On a slow week. Working for the Foghorn, an organization that puts out a tangible product every week as well as a thriving website, prevents many students from having enough time to have any sort of full time job. It’s discouraging that as the paper improves and expands exponentially our budget decreases. I’d like to see Senators working in their office until 3 am (sometimes later) for our stipends.

  17. I’m fine wit people making the argument that funded accounts are clubs and so students working there shouldn’t get paid as if it’s a real job because they should be involved because they like the work the club does not to earn money. However, if this is the case than this principal should apply to all clubs including senate. Senate asks club workers to do their jobs because they love it, and so club workers should ask senate to do their job because they love it also.

  18. I would like to know the Senate’s side to story and why they made these decisions because something does not seem right here. does anybody know the time of the senate meeting on tuesday?

  19. Senate meetings are at 6 every Tuesday. However the location changes from week to week- it should be held in either Fromm or McClaren. I think it’s important for anyone who has more questions and wants answers to the questions raised in this opinion piece should come to the meeting and bring up their issues. I know that many Foghorn staff members will be in attendance on Tuesday, including myself.

  20. There are two words to describe the fact that senate is holding on to its own inflated stipends while reducing those of executives of other funded accounts: insulting and elitist.
    I’ve been involved with College Players, the PASJ Department’s theater productions, USFtv and The Foghorn. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve seen my peers pour into their work, staying in Presentation Theater well past midnight to paint a set, sleeping on campus (or not sleeping at all)to make sure the paper is ready for print, giving up entire Saturdays to film off campus, and in the case of PASJ productions, receiving zero compensation for being part of productions that rehearse 15 or 20 hours a week. For most students, this is in addition to a full course load and at least one part time job on campus.
    Here’s the thing: College Players, The Foghorn, USFtv… we all throw our entire selves into our work because we care deeply about it. We have a noticeable presence on campus.We have things to show for our accomplishments. People see what we do on a regular basis. If the only thing Alexandra Platt can tout as accomplishments are two resolutions (the only two she mentioned in her opinion piece, it really makes me wonder what the justification for holding onto their stipends is. I thank God that that the inane Senate is ‘SEXY’ campaign was dropped. I think it would have only further contributed to what I hope is an embarrassing situation for our student senate.
    Take a look around you and you will find many USF students who put 20+ hours of work a week for *free* to make sure that media, arts and culture are represented on campus. That is the definition of commitment. Senate should be looking to the exec boards of other funded accounts (and non-funded accounts who work for FREE) as role models instead of insulting them by taking away what is rightfully theirs.
    If senate really cares about issues on campus, they should be willing to work just as happily without their exorbitant stipends. I’m not suggesting that they should work for free. But anyone with common sense and even a small sense of fairness can see that senate is perpetuating an incredible injustice here: how is that they see it as fair to hold their own work far above that of all the other clubs and organizations? The 7,000 dollar stipend for the President’s position is particularly offensive to me.
    I would like to commend senator Alia Sharif for her work on campus. As Social Justice representative, she has been a key figure in organizing resources in response to allegations of sexual violence on campus. She has been a visible influence on this campus, reaching out to her peers and showing that she is an exemplary leader. I wish she was running for President. She would certainly have my vote.
    Without College Players, there would be no Fall Musical on campus. No yearly Vagina Monologues. No New Works Festival. Without the Foghorn, we’d have no weekly newspaper to act as a student voice. No back and forth on this message board. No chance to interview amazing musicians, artists, and theater folk. If we had no USFtv, where else would young filmmakers get to have their work televised?
    Without Senate…. well, if it *was gone* would you notice? I don’t think I would.

  21. I don’t understand how senate members justify making twice as much money as the Editor in chief when working as the Editor in chief is comparable to working a full-time job. As a section editor, I feel that the amount of work I put into the paper is not reflected by the amount of stipend I receive. Everyone on the Forghorn staff puts a lot of effort and time into the newspaper so that we can produce the best school newspaper possible. And by cutting our stipends Senate is not showing that they appreciate our work.

  22. @jon coon: I personally wanted to thank you for making yourself available for discussion last week. While I understand that you couldn’t speak freely of everything due to your involvement in the Finance committee, I did want to acknowledge the fact that you were willing to listen and give appropriate feedback to our issues at the Foghorn w/ the released budget. Thank you.

  23. I would like to add to the dialogue that President Platt has done an incredible job this year she takes a stand, listens to the concerns of the students and addresses and stands behind those concerns to the administration and the Board of Trustees. Platt works tirelessly in her position to support all student led initiatives, including the initiatives set forth by the Students Taking Action Against Sexual Violence. Platt stands up for the students and works to address student concern, yet it’s important to address that within the Senate as an Executive remains a non-voting member. Which means she did not vote on the preliminary budget.

  24. I wanted to wait to respond in person to the Foghorn, but the accusations are getting ridiculous! Everything I “said” in that article was misrepresented. I would never in a million years suggest that no one else has to choose between involvement and work. I was asked the amount of time I spend doing Senate work. I mentioned having to leave my internship as a testament to the amount of time I devote to Senate. I am friends with, and know the schedules of, a huge amount of funded account members. I realize we’re all in the same position, but like I said, that’s not what I was asked about.

    Also, the Foghorn happens to leave out the fact that the current stipends for the Senate Eboard were decided about 4-5 years ago, before I even realized I would be attending USF! The research that went into figuring out those positions happened far before my time on Senate. It’s insane to blame me for the amount of money the President makes, when it wasn’t my decision.

    I must also point out that Finance Committee sent emails to every funded account, INCLUDING the Foghorn, to invite their members to apply for Finance Committee positions. There was no response. So, again, you are leading the reader to believe something that is false, and that is what a lot of the comments above are upset about.

    If the Foghorn had ASKED ME if I would work for less, or for free, I would have said YES! I love my work with Senate, and am not in it for money, but again, since it’s never been brought up in Finance Committee, it’s just stayed at the same rate.

    My letter about Senate, also in this week’s Foghorn, simply served as an example to get students interested in the decision making process in Senate as elections are quickly approaching. You’re right, I didn’t list every single decision we’ve made this year, because I wanted to show two of the biggest to students who may be less familiar with the organization.

    And finally, the “Senate is Sexy” campaign was canceled in response to STUDENT concern on campus, because of the sexual assault. Some of our peers brought it to the attention of the VP of SJ that they didn’t think the wording was appropriate, and after several discussions, we agreed and changed it to something different. You criticize us for not listening to students, and then when we do, we still get criticized.

    This article, while bringing up an important issue of money and time spent, completely skewed any accurate representation of my words, and does not clearly portray the actual roles of the Eboard vs. the Finance Committee.

  25. Pause for a moment. Regardless of how much money you were granted, the reason many of you stay involved in USF is to uphold freedom, fairness, and human rights. Some of the comments above about Alex Platt lack compassion and show that we ALL need to reconsider how we treat other members of our community. Even if we feel we have been wronged or disrespected, remember that the accused are human, too. Embrace freedom of speech, but we need to remember that attacking others will not remedy the situation.

  26. Also, by default, a reporter will have their own perspective in their article. Therefore, readers should not immediately believe what they see in a newspaper or in any media source. Follow up by doing some of your own investigating and making your own opinion—Senate has made themselves available through meeting, so ask them personally.

  27. Yes, the 7,000 dollars may be extravagant, but you guys, Alex Platt of ANYONE knows what it’s like to stay up all hours working on something she cares about. She’s someone I’ve admired for all the work she does with USFtv, College Players, Senate, Women In Media…and on top of all of that she has has several internships. Yes, let’s question the insane amount of money she gets, but don’t hone in on her…it’s nto her fault and she doesn’t deserve all this ripping on her work ethic.

  28. It’s time to get together as Funded Accounts and say enough. Senate decides on their own salaries and they clearly can’t be trusted with the responsibility. And please, they make up half of the Finance Committee, so don’t even say they don’t have influence.

    As for Alex Platt, this issue has little to do with her, uhh except that she is on the Finance Committee and sat there and said, yeah Ok, lets move ahead with a budget where I make thousands of dollars more than people I know (see her post above) who work just as hard as I do. Alex- why did you agree with a budget where you make so much money if you didn’t think it was fair?

  29. This is like Sarah Palin saying she didn’t agree with the Bridge to Nowhere only after it became public when she was fine with it earlier when no one was pointing the finger at her.

  30. To clarify this point again the Finance Committee, the Committee who votes on the budgets has more at large members then Senators. It was a majority vote by the student population not Senate. Funded Accounts made the choice not to be apart of the Finance Committee, those positions are open to the entire student population.

  31. First, I agree, the Senate Executive Board is making an exorbitant amount of money, but I’m sure Alex Platt, nor My Nguyen, nor the Finance Committee had anything to do with originally setting those stipends, at least according to the above comments, whereas The Foghorn’s stipends had been raised the past two years.

    Second, since this is an article written on behalf the the entire Foghorn staff, I’d like to see everyone of you comment that you support this article.

    Third, regardless of whatever point you guys are trying to make, or whoever you’re trying to run down, it’s really disappointing to see you all so upset about your stipends being lowered by $250.

    It really shows that you are all really in it for the money instead of acting as a voice for the student body no matter what. Actually, I think there was a big deal last year about USFtv and College Players giving back money from their stipends for this year to get equipment.

    It’s just really sad that you guys would appeal to get back such a little amount of money, and then write an article that, from what I’m reading from these comments, withheld facts and was unfair.

    There are newspaper editors and reporters working throughout the world for nothing.

    It really is disappointing to see you all care so much about money.

  32. In response to the post above, and as someone who works for the Foghorn, I will be happy to say that I am in support of the staff editorial that ran this week in the paper. I don’t believe that any of us who work for the foghorn, are “in it for the money.” We all could be making more money working elsewhere. However, we choose to work for almost no stipend and give a significant amount of time back every week to the USF community. I will not speak for anyone else, but I can say that for myself, I spend countless hours in the office not becuase of the stipend that I am paid, but becuase of personal dedication to my job, and to the USF community. All we are requesting is that we be fairly compensated for our efforts.

  33. I do agree with Melissa. I know how much dedication and hard work the editors and staff writers put into their work for the Foghorn. I know that the editors are not doing it “for the money.” The Foghorn editors are probably the most dedicated people I know – I know how much they work editing and putting the paper together. I think that the Foghorn Staff Editorial just wanted to say that people should get a reasonable stipend for the amount of work they put in.

  34. This is a matter of respect. By taking money away from Foghorn Staffers you are saying that their work is worth less than that of senators, which is an egregious error. This is not some excercise in greed: they are asking for equal treatment here.

    Last semester I saw a huge banner advertising positions for senate seats. Next to each open position, in big magic marker, was the dollar amount of each stipend that position receives. Hello? What other organization on campus would do something like that? Do you think anyone is lured to the Foghorn with the promise of making big bucks in such an obscene and tactless way? Give me a break!

    I worked last semester as a Foghorn staffer. If I had put those hours into a regular job, it would have been far more lucrative–I’d be laughing my way to the bank. But I chose to manage the Scene section because it was something I was truly passionate about, and I’d do that kind of work for free in a heartbeat (just like I’ve done with College Players and PASJ). After working closely with my peers at The Foghorn, I know every single one of them feels the same way.

    Senate needs to step up and accept responsibility here. You have all accepted huge stipends that you know far exceed that of most execs on campus. As students leaders on campus, you should know better. You say “The stipends were set a long time ago…” —- so what? You are all complicit in perpetuating this unfairness by never calling these stipends into question. But of course: why bring it up when you can get away with it? The honest and fair thing to do would be to cut down your own stipends first.

  35. I understand that people are taking this article personally, but at no point did the Foghorn make a personal attack on any one person. The issue is the amount of money senate presidents and vice presidents receive in comparison to the amount others make.

  36. It is not enough to justify receiving an excessive stipend by saying that it was established before joining senate. If you noticed the stipend was that excessive, you should have submitted a proposal to distribute the excess money elsewhere. I still have yet to hear the reason for senate increasing their budget by nearly $14,000.
    In response to the comment about USFTV giving back money for equipment, Foghorn writers and editors give back on a weekly basis, publishing a well written newspaper. If you are going to criticize the Foghorn for not giving money back, then one must also point the finger at members of senate who receive excessively high stipends and do not give money back. Additionally, if you are going to criticize the Foghorn on that basis, not giving money back, then you must also criticize other groups on the same basis.

  37. As a member of the Foghorn Editorial Staff, I fully support the above staff editorial. I take offense to the accusation that we are “in it for the money.” If any one of us were “in it for the money,” we would find part-time jobs instead of spending countless hours and overnights in the Foghorn office making sure that a paper is released every week. $250 is not going to make or break my living siuation, but it is a significant percentage of my pay as sectional editor, and it is an inaccurate indictment of the work we have done this year. As Maro pointed out above, the stipends for senate are advertised as an incentive. The Foghorn does not advertise stipends when hiring editors. If we did, they would act as a deterrent.We are not asking for stipends to be increased, we are asking for stipends to remain as they are.

  38. Since a lot of these comments are based on hearsay and gossip I thought I should clear a few things up for those who refuse to get their facts straight.

    1. The Senate electoral board stipends were researched and determined five (5) years ago. This was researched by the Senate as a whole, not just finance committee. If you can add, you will realize that no one holding a position on eboard today was even at this school.
    2. “Senate is Sexy” was an idea created by the PR Committee and VP of Public Relations Casey Atud. It was an idea, it was researched and discovered that the student body was not in support of it, but never put into affect. If you would like to continue to complain about something that was never approved and publicized, please contact our VP of Public Relations.
    3. Both Alex Platt and My Nguyen CANNOT vote on Finance committee. Senators like Jon Coon can vote and their votes decide whether your precious stipends are increased or decreased.
    4. If you have ever planned an event you know that space is limited on campus. Senate meeting locations change weekly due to what Event Scheduling has available. The Senate office is located in UC 100 and is always opened for questions and comments.
    5. A lot of comments imply that the ASUSF president’s position is comprised of sitting around and eating bon bon’s all day. This is a list of the bare minimums required for all past, present and future presidents:

    New Student Orientation
    Parents Weekend
    Weekly Office Hours
    Weekly Senate Meetings
    Weekly Senate pair meetings
    Bi Weekly One on One with Senate Advisor
    Weekly E-Board meetings
    Various Administration Meetings
    Committee Meetings (Ms.Platt is on 3)
    -Smoking Committee monthly meetings
    -Eating Disorders monthly meetings
    -University Life Committee (3 times every academic year)
    -Homecoming Committee. This particular committee has a more sporadic schedule, but planning has already begun for the fall homecoming concert/weekend. As the HC weekend approaches they have monthly, weekly and bi-weekly meetings, which increases their hours as well.
    Board of Trustees. This is a major part of being the ASUSF President. There are two meetings in the first semester and one in the second semester. The president has to create a report that has a summary of student activities, concerns, and student opinion concerning current issues. They have to present to the board, go through a Q&A session and then stay to participate through the rest of the five hour meeting.

    6. The editor in chief of Ignatian Literary Magazine has never requested a stipend, but this year’s finance committee awarded the editor in chief a $300 stipend.

    7. The re-appeal process is a valid way for Foghorn to speak up for what they believe, and Senate is going to treat them with respect and listen to these concerns and possibly reconsider the finance committee’s initial decision.

    8. I would also like to mention that there are 33 senators that put in as much time and energy into their causes that the Foghorn and other organizations put into theirs, and for the most part they aren’t getting any money. Currently Senate has 5 stipend positions and Foghorn has 15. This means that more the Foghorn members are getting a supplementary salary, (while it may not be as much as Senate eboard), it is a lot more then Senate overall.

    9. While Foghorn was busy misquoting and making assumptions about Senate and stipends, they missed out on real news. Senator Nick Baradello’s forum “Creating A Community of Students with Learning Differences Forum”, which was focused on making positive change on campus for those who are differently able was not covered by a Foghorn reporter and will not be covered in next week’s paper. This is unfortunate because Nick sings the praises of Foghorn as well as the highest praises of the editor in chief Hunter Patterson. Thankfully they were there to have his back and return the favor.

    10. We rarely see Foghorn reporters at Senate meetings, which could explain why people don’t know much about what we do on a regular basis. The only reporter who has come to multiple meetings and chooses to cover important topics such as the tuition increase issue, is Laura Plantholt. I can’t wait until next year when she is in charge and brings some journalism ethics and moral values back to the Foghorn.

  39. With weekly obligations totaling over 30 hours, plus full time classes, and involvement in two other organizations, trying to find time for a social life and dealing with the typical college issues (family, illness, uncertain future, etc) is a challenge. To say that Ms. Platt is not worth the money that she makes is unnecessary and cruel. The cost of living in SF is one of the highest in the United States, and just like many other students at USF, Platt is probably supporting herself and barely making it through. No one but Ms. Platt knows her personal circumstances nor should it be a topic of a Foghorn article thread. May I remind you, that she is a respected peer that you are tearing apart, she lived in the same dorm as you, she is in classes with you, she has helped you do school projects, and she is doing the best to her ability….GIVE HER A FREAKING BREAK.

  40. “We rarely see Foghorn reporters at Senate meetings, which could explain why people don’t know much about what we do on a regular basis.”

    We rarely see senators, well, *anywhere.*

  41. As an active member of the USF community, I am very discouraged at the way money is allocated on campus. It is my opinion that the funded accounts not only receive too much funding, but frequently misuse funds at the expense of other clubs and organizations on campus.

    Also, I am COMPLETELY disgusted with the way other posters have talked about Alex Platt. Have you not seen the other senators on this board that have commented? Not only does Alex NOT have a say in the Finance Committee’s decisions, but also she would happily do her job without a stipend. She is an amazing, woman, friend, colleague, and student, and also an awesome president. She has my vote for the upcoming elections.

    Alex, and the majority of the ASUSF Senate have worked tirelessly to further the mission and vision of the University. The reason why no one hears about anything they accomplish is because they were seriously lacking in PR leadership this past year. Senate executive board works like a well-oiled machine. If one piece breaks, the whole thing goes down. Same scenario here. VP of PR doesn’t get the word out to students, creates slogans that are offensive, and the whole Senate looks to be at fault.

    The point is that the student body and the funded accounts should not blame the senators for budget problems that they had no control over. Also, our fellow students should consider both sides of the argument before they make outlandish statements about a senator’s commitment to their position. Personally, I know Alia Al-Sharif and Alex Platt take everything on Senate to heart and work every day to ensure that our University’s students are well represented. The funded accounts had an opportunity to be a part of the Finance Committee, but declined. If they have a problem now, they should have been more proactive and sent a member from their organization to be represented.

  42. Maro Guevara Says:
    “We rarely see Foghorn reporters at Senate meetings, which could explain why people don’t know much about what we do on a regular basis.”

    We rarely see senators, well, *anywhere.*

    If you took the time to get to know your Senators then you would see them all the time in their office or around campus. I see them all the time since I decided to get to know them and take the time to check the Senate website. The minutes are up there from every week’s meeting. It is updated weekly. It is your fault for not taking the time to know your Senators and what your student government is up to….not Senate’s.

    Here is the Senate website if you do not know it:

  43. I am the editor in chief of the Foghorn.

    This article and the issue in general has nothing to do with Alex Platt. Alex, you are one of the hardest workers I have ever meet. You are a workaholic and I believe you try your hardest to make USF as good as it can be in your roll as president, at USFtv, through Women in Media and as a student at large. When you say you would work for free I believe you because I would also do my job for free and I think we share a passion for making our respective clubs as good as they can be.

    However, the majority of posters here who argue in support of senate stipends (and low stipends for other accounts) are using the argument that Alex works really hard period. But in determining fair stipends we should, as a community, look at how much work one position carries in relation to another (within reason, lets not split hairs).

    My message is simple, we work really hard ALSO and at the very least our stipends should not be cut, especially in a year when we have received more praise from the community for our hard work then ever before. Fr. Privett called this year’s Foghorn “Perhaps the best ever,” and everywhere I go on campus people tell me how much they enjoy the paper this year, Alex included, Greg W. included, senators included.

    But I understand that we needed to reduce the budget this year, and that cuts needed to be made. That’s the reality of the situation. However, if we cut one club’s stipends (when their responsibilities/hours have not changed) then we should cut stipends at other accounts also.

    The Finance Committee chose to cut Foghorn stipends, and not stipends at other accounts that I am aware of (but I have not seen every club budget). What is most frustrating about this is that there were 13 people in the room when budgets were decided and 5 of them were senators and one was the adviser to senate. And I have spoken with many of the people who were in that room and several of the non-senators said they felt intimidated to go along with the pro-senate group and were afraid to voice concern over senate stipends. These people also said they wished no senators were on the Finance Committee because it would allow them to be more fair about deciding budgets.

    And that’s really the game-ender for me. All of the other arguments you try to make about senate being an “umbrella organization,” and working really hard et al is just white noise to me.

  44. The only thing I want to add is that the Finance Committee has 8 voting members. This is taken from the codes for the Finance Committee:

    “Three (3) ASUSF Senators, who do not control budgeted areas, appointed by the ASUSF President, upon recommendation of the ASUSF Interview Committee.
    Five (5) Students-at-large, who do not control budgeted areas, appointed by the ASUSF Senate, upon recommendation of the ASUSF Interview Committee.”

  45. Just a FYI: If you feel compelled to write a follow-up article to this article, you are always welcomed to submit via the Submit-Article page: When submitted the article will be posted to the website, as well as reviewed to be part of next week’s Opinion section. Thanks all for your interest!

  46. It is a shame the Alex Platt still has the audacity to respond to this discussion. She does not understand the inequality she is part of and if you analyze her response she has dug herself in a deeper hole. She says, “It’s insane to blame me for the amount of money the President makes, when it wasn’t my decision”. Yes she makes herself the victim while still reaping the benefits. She then goes on to bash the Forghorn in her third paragraph. She says, “I must also point out that Finance Committee sent emails to every funded account, INCLUDING the Foghorn, to invite their members to apply for Finance Committee positions. There was no response”. She dismisses the fact that they have the responsibility of a full time student while working for the student paper; for free. In her fourth paragraph she states, “[I] am not in it for money, but again, since it’s never been brought up in Finance Committee, it’s just stayed at the same rate”. She takes no accountability for the injustice of the matter and rather than take an active approach on situations, as what I assume a President should, she continues to excuse herself because she just “didn’t know”. A President’s duty is to be proactive not for her to sit down and wait for people to inform her about what going on. If she had any idea what it meant to be professional and a President she should have waited to respond in person rather than contribute to the escalating dynamics of this discussion. This only goes to show that we elected an irresponsible person who is not willing to stand up for the students. Yes, Platt is right, it is not her fault she gets paid more but now it is our responsibility to be proactive since it is clear she isn’t.

  47. Thank you Michael for passing along that information. As the Foghorn Opinion Editor, I want to encourage students who have a response to this piece, regardless of your stance, to submit columns to be published in the opinion section. Of course, columns on any other issue related to the USF community are also welcomed. You can submit columns to Thank you.

  48. What still utterly confuses me about all of this is how the Foghorn has yet to report the full truth. Their budget was cut due to the fact that their budget was submitted 10 days late. No other Funded Account was so late in doing so. The Foghorn was well aware of the penalties associated with turning in a budget, with informational meetings and packets provided by SLE

    Furthermore, the Foghorn does not represent ALL Funded Accounts. As a member of a highly funded student group, I know most groups financed through SLE were happy or even thrilled with this years budget outcomes. If the Foghorn is meant to be the voice of student groups, they should have done a proper survey of other organizations.

    In regards to stipends, I would like the Editor of the Foghorn to compare their stipend to those of other leaders on campus in similar positions. If they do so they will find that other Executives earn about $1000.00 less than they do.

    Overall, this “Opinion” article was highly bias and could be considered blackmail against senate. I am ashamed to have this paper representing my school

  49. Hi everyone,

    I encourage you to take a look at the budget materials available on the Senate’s website. The direct link is:

    The Finance Committee presented the proposed budget to Senate on Tuesday April 21st. The PowerPoint presentation, along with the script of the presentation is available on the website. In addition, the “Overview of Budget Changes 09” document is also available. This document gives explanations to all of the significant changes of budgets for each Funded Accounts. The Finance Committee Codes are also being reviewed and will be voted on May 5th. Please take a look and see if you would like to make any adjustments. The Budget Stipulations document is also up; there are many changes to the document to ensure that Funded Accounts are being held accountable for their funding. The budget binder is also available at UC 100 (across from Crossroads) Front Desk. So come and check it out when you have time.

    All concerns and comments are welcome; however, it would be much appreciated if students could review the budget materials before coming to a conclusion. Perhaps after students review all of the materials, they could have a clearer understanding of decisions made in regards to the proposed budget.

    Just to clarify, according to the proposed budget, the funding for clubs and organizations (non-Funded Accounts) will be greater than ever through Superfund and Club Funding. The Superfund budget has increased to ~$70,000 to ensure there will be sufficient funding for clubs and organizations to host events on campus. As for Club Funding, the current budget only grants clubs up to $500 per year for internal development. However, the proposed budget will grant clubs up to $800 per year for staff development, leadership development, outreach, and visibility.

    For more clarifications, please visit the Senate’s website to review the budget documents.

    On a personal note, I am very excited and happy to see students concern about budgets. I encourage all students to get involve and really voice their opinions and thoughts to their Senators, and help Senate approve on a budget that really reflects the agreement of each and every student at USF.
    My Nguyen

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