Senate Beat: Feb 2, 2021

Today’s Senate public meeting saw the announcement of new wages for a handful of student positions and a discussion of the new wage review process. The new wages can be found in the table below.

Student Body Vice President Aziz Ouedraogo spoke about the history of wage review. Although Senate oversees student wages, it has lacked a formal Wage Review process since 2014, when the Student Body President at the time decided that the process was unnecessary. Since then, Senate has been conducting their own internal review of student wages, notably including their own. 

Graphic Courtesy of Katherine Draves

Graphic Courtesy of Katherine Draves

Ouedraogo decided to bring the Wage Review process back and has been hiring students to serve on Wage Review Board. After interviewing student workers, comparing historical wages, and weighing the expectations and pay for different positions, Wage Review Board arrived at a proposed list of changes to wages. They sent this proposal to Senate, which made its own edits and sent them back to Wage Review Board. The edits were approved, and Senate has now officially made the new wages law. 

At this point in the meeting, Treasurer Ena Hashimoto read out a list of the changes which are printed in the table. Megan Simón, Operations Coordinator for the Office of Student Engagement asked if Wage Review also reviews job descriptions for student jobs and adjusts them if needed. Senator and Appointment Committee Chair Alondra Loza answered that job descriptions are Appointment Committee’s job, but that job descriptions do get updated: just recently, the job description for Student Union Manager was updated to reflect Student Union expectations during COVID-19. Loza also added that she, along with Senators MJ Quintana-Rodriguez and Beq Yonaka, will be working with all students appointed by Appointments Committee to record any complaints about working conditions, pay, or any other grievances so that they can be adjusted if possible. These records could be used by the Wage Review Board when the time comes to adjust wages. Loza also announced that she has been working on making applications more accessible and equitable for student positions. Secretary Zonya Tanada asked how the applications have been changed, and Loza explained that one of the biggest changes has been to make questions on applications answerable by everyone instead of only people who have had very specific opportunities. For example, instead of asking “Have you ever been in a leadership position?” an application might ask an applicant to explain a situation where they had to mediate a disagreement.

Committee reports for this week’s meeting started with Student Body President Priya Narain announcing that Period Kollectiv has been working to ensure menstrual supplies in all first year dorms. Ouedroago has been speaking with former Student Body Vice President Apoorva Manipudi about taking over as alumni liaison. Loza started a vote to appoint Arley Sakai and Quinn Adamcik as Special Election Czars, and the vote passed unanimously. Loza also announced that the Student Committee on Diversity has planned its first meeting for the semester, but its various subcommittees have already started meeting independently. Yonaka announced that the Accessibility Committee has scheduled their first meeting and clarified that they will be having office hours this week for Disability, Accessibility, and Resources. Vice Treasurer Kodinna Anachebe has been working with the Bookstore Board, Textbook Collective, and the library to make sure people can access textbooks.  They have also been overseeing appointments for the Community Safety Coalition. 

Senators Safi Zenger, Orion Pendragon, MJ Quintana-Rodriguez, and Beq Yonaka all introduced themselves as new Senators, and Zonya Tanada as the new Senate Secretary. Congratulations! Senator Pendragon has also been working to create written records of managers and assistant managers of the Student Union. Treasurer Ena Hashimoto ended committee reports with the announcement that their dreams of fresh donuts in Marketplace have come true.

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