A Case for Cutting Compensation

On Sept. 20, the Foghorn published a news story about ASUSF Senate considering cutting compensation for Chartered Student Organization (CSO) executives. On Sept. 27, five executives penned opinion articles all against Senate’s proposal. The Foghorn wanted to share Tiana Valero’s side, a member of the CSO community who supports eliminating pay. The president of Valero’s organization, Alaina Arroyo, wrote against against cutting compensation in last week’s issue.

My stance against compensation was established when I was a freshman and a Chartered Student Organization (CSO) executive said to me, “The money you pay to this University pays my paycheck, so yeah, I guess I like being a CSO officer.”

My compensated position at the CFCC is to serve culturally focused clubs on campus. These clubs include the Green and Gold organizations, meaning that every single executive that I serve directly is not compensated. This is not fair. It’s assumed by many that I am only doing this job to be compensated. If the clubs I serve assume that I am only here in order to receive compensation, how am I supposed to be a legitimate leader to them?

When I think about the kind of leaders that CFCC should have, we should be ones who passionately serve our organizations. Having our executive board be compensated is preventing us from doing just that. In total, the entirety of the executive board’s compensation for CFCC alone is more than $14,000 a year. That is money we could reinvest into culturally focused events. For example, we would be able to invest more in events like Hoike, Barrio and Coming Out Day to help them be more successful. How can I tell these organizations to come to me for monetary help when we at the CFCC are sitting on more than $14,000 that will never directly benefit them?

As someone who has sat as an executive board member for both a CSO and a Gold organization, I know I did equal — if not more — work for the latter. So why am I being compensated when they are not?

While I understand the argument that having no compensation can de-diversify the pool of individuals who can take on these roles, I do not completely agree with it.

Many CSO officers hold jobs outside of their position. To say that this compensation is all CSO executives’ sole source of income is inaccurate. There are so many Green and Gold organizations who consistently have individuals wanting to be in leadership for their organizations without compensation. I think the same want to fulfill leadership positions would still happen within CFCC even without compensation. Looking at the unpaid CFCC executive boards that we serve, so many of these individuals have diverse backgrounds. I do not think that an unpaid executive board would get any less diverse than the boards we have historically had.


  • Tiana Valero

    Tiana Valero is the vice president of the Culturally Focused Clubs Council (CFCC).

    TianaValero@sff.com Valero Tiana

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