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By Rachel Carasso
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 4, 1998

Candidates have mixed opinions about salaries

Some ASUA officials see stipends as due reward for the endless hours they serve students, but candidates are not sure if student-fee money should go toward their salaries.

"You should be doing it because you want to, not for the money," said Senate candidate Eric Hochstatter, a political science freshman.

"I don't see why we should get paid, since we are just representing the students," said Senate candidate Maria Rodriguez, a sociology junior. "We shouldn't be doing this to fill our pockets."

At the University of Arizona, Associated Students presidents receive $5,000 a year, vice presidents receive $3,500 each, the treasurer - an appointed official - receives $2,500 and the 10 senators receive $1,200 each. All pick up paychecks every two weeks.

About 17 percent of ASUA's $700,000 annual budget is allocated for stipends.

Associated Students President Gilbert Davidson said he and other ASUA officials deserve to be paid.

"It's a job - definitely," he said. "You can't do anything else."

Davidson said most ASUA officials, especially the president and vice presidents, do not have time to hold other jobs.

Davidson said he works about 60 hours a week as ASUA president - what amounts to about $1.60 an hour. That is $3.55 short of minimum wage.

The ASUA president, however, does receive other perks.

"I have an office, and I use a university car if I have to travel for ASUA functions," Davidson said.

Davidson also receives 20 sets of basketball season tickets and 32 football tickets.

Although he gives the tickets to other ASUA officials and UA Associated Bookstore employees, he could use them all himself if he wanted to, Davidson said.

Arizona State University's student body president and three vice presidents each receive a $4,080 annual stipend. They receive paychecks every three weeks.

Washington State University's student body president receives the highest paycheck in the nation each year, at $15,463.

Some schools pay student officials with tuition waivers. The University of Miami's student body president, who receives a $19,140 tuition waiver, is the highest-compensated student leader.

A Student Government Salary Survey conducted in the fall by Student Leader magazine contacted campus leaders at 150 schools across the country. According to the survey, 70 percent offer or receive some sort of compensation, either through salaries, scholarships, free tuition or class credit.

Wildcat reporter David J. Cieslak contributed to this report

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