The student government has been cutting its student senators more slack this year than in previous years, giving leniency for some not fulfilling their duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal issues.
Before, each senator could appeal their awards up to three times, but former Senator-at-Large Kacie Manabe requested that the limit be lifted at an executive committee meeting on Jan. 15. It is unknown whether Manabe’s request was granted. However, on Feb. 26, six appeals were granted, two of which were for Manabe. The following meeting on March 11, seven appeals were granted, one of them was for Manabe again.
“So I had to make sure all the minutes have been uploaded correctly. So I think the fact that I was coming back from leave in early December, when we had our meeting, and we had delays in codifying minutes for internal affairs at that time, in addition to the vice chair’s known history of not turning in the minutes on time, that this is the reason why the ND [neglect of duty] was probably given,” Manabe recalled on the March 11 meeting.
From that same meeting, Ismael Salameh's appeal for December 2019 was approved. He noted that studying for exams and working two full-time jobs to support his family as reasons for not fulfilling his duties. His father was in a motor vehicle accident and became temporarily unemployed as a result.
On Aug. 26, Micah Leval got the ok for his appeal for March. Leval admitted that he failed to submit the attendance for the External Affairs Meeting #6 and rate sheet by the end of the month, but also said that the pandemic played a factor in the delay.
At the most recent ASUH meeting, an appeal was granted for Sarah-lyn Kaeo’s failure to complete the paysheet. The appeal was granted with no protest, and $150 was awarded.
There has not been one appeal denied this semester. ASUH did not respond for immediate comment after multiple requests for the financial information on the appeals granted and whether or not the three-appeal limit was removed.
ASUH allocated $68,520 this semester to compensate student senators in stipends.
The executive members, which includes the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and four senator-at-large, are paid up to over $400 a month. The college senators are paid $100 per month.
The appeals are letters that state why a senator should be paid if they haven't received their stipends. The letter is presented to the Executive Committee to review it for further consideration. Awards are typically granted when a senator performs their job. Appealing this means a member failed to do their job but would like to be paid for that month.
ASUH represents full-time undergraduate students. Its goals are to bring student issues to the administration and be representatives. ASUH also utilizes student government fees to fund student organizations and events on campus.
The student government is funded by mandatory student fees and liquidated stocks.
According to the ASUH Revised Rules, an Award for Service can be put in jeopardy if a senator fails to submit a rate sheet by the end of each month, they submit a rate sheet earlier than five to the last day of the month or they fail to attend 75% of the required meetings and workshops. For a chairperson or vice chairperson, they can be penalized if the meeting attendance wasn’t submitted by the end of each month and if the meeting minutes weren’t submitted within five business days of each meeting of their committee.
Appeals have to be written and submitted within 90 days of the date on the Awards for Service Memorandum. These appeals will be heard by the Executive Committee and if they deny the scheduled appeal, the Senate can overturn that decision with a two-thirds vote. A decision may only be appealed once by the Senate and once by the Executive Committee.
The vote has to be unanimous in order to uphold or overrule any decision regarding Awards for Service. When hearing an appeal the Awards for Service memorandums and Senate attendance records must be present. Senators can have three unexcused absences before being put in disciplinary action by the Executive Committee.