Half-Truths and Lies: The Statement on the Compensation Proposal

Alec Hoffman, Contributing Writer

I would like to preface my opinion with congratulations to the Clark community and the many council members who have stood up to the sham that is the CUSC Compensation Proposal. All students should consider CUSC’s recent statement regarding the proposal to be an absolute win for accountability. Don’t get me wrong, CUSC is still about as transparent as Congress. However, the student body’s combined rage has compelled the CUSC Executive Board to finally speak about their actions. Don’t be fooled by the statement’s doublespeak and half-truths. If it weren’t for the collective outcry of hundreds of students, the Compensation Proposal would have slipped through the cracks, unbeknownst to all.

Anyone who attended the March 31st CUSC meeting can attest to the fact that the proposal was always meant to be voted upon on April 7th. There was never meant to be “due diligence”. Even the “CUSC Proposal Feedback Form” was created by council members outside of the E-Board, not to mention well after the start of the controversy. I see no evidence to suggest that the “proposal is an entry point into a larger conversation.” Why is CUSC’s first foray into this so-called “larger conversation” a proposal meant to be passed in council and implemented immediately thereafter? Where were the emails, surveys, and infographics that CUSC usually does so well? Why was this proposal so poorly cobbled together, so underwhelming, and so filled to the brim with jargon that no average student could begin to understand? The E-Board’s greatest mistake wasn’t their precedent-less and illegitimate source of funding (Cumulative Surplus) or the egregious amount they’re asking for, but their lack of transparency throughout the entire process.

I feel obliged to do my “due diligence” and respond to certain items on CUSC’s statement considering my article supposedly contained “incomplete and inaccurate information that could further confuse the student body.” As if the Compensation Proposal wasn’t the most confusing part of this fiasco. If anything, CUSC’s reporting of its funding and finances is “incomplete and inaccurate”. Nowhere on their website is it listed where Cumulative Surplus funds go or how much GALA costs in total. Therefore, I incorrectly assumed that GALA was $15,000 when it, in fact, cost $50,553.50. The $15,000 was merely the amount drawn from Cumulative Surplus as stipulated (rather vaguely) in the Compensation Proposal. Anyways, why not put the E-Board’s $24,360 salary into GALA since the event has historically struggled to achieve adequate funding? 

While I have your attention, I would like to refute the breakdown of Execute Board and Chair salaries. Based on the testimonies of previous Executive Board members, I can reasonably say that being on the E-Board does not consume 14 hours of the week. We wouldn’t know if they put in those hours anyways since filling in a timesheet (like all other Clark employees) was not included in the proposal. In fact, as a former member of the finance committee, I would argue that being a Finance or Grants Chair is infinitely more time-consuming than most E-Board positions. You know, the people responsible for combing through hundreds of budgets, grants, midyears, and other allocations. Not to mention the Chairs and regular council members who have been just as (if not more) involved in advocacy and activism as many E-Board members. So, why do Chairs get paid 29.8% of what the vice-president and secretary make – positions bestowed with the duties to fill in for their counterparts and give occasional input? It is because the individual effort was never part of the equation in the Compensation Proposal. It is because the architects behind this proposal never expected to be under the scrutiny they are now. 

I conclude, shelf the Compensation Proposal indefinitely or put it to a referendum. If the proposal is brought to a vote, all council members with a conflict of interest must abstain. It’s your choice, all of Clark is watching.