By Joseph Barrios
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate and Professional Student Council held their final meetings of the semester yesterday, approving among other measures that ASUA Supreme Court justices receive compensation for their work.
The Senate voted 4-1 and the GPSC voted unanimously with one abstention to approve back pay and set stipends for next year's court.
Scott B. Bernstein, chief justice of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, approached both legislative bodies yesterday and asked the Senate to reconsider their decision last week that would pay all the court justices $275 for their work during the 1993-94 school year.
Bernstein, Senior Justice Wendy Gerhart and Associate Justice Mike Brown will now be paid $1,100 each for their work the last two semesters. Associate Justices Mike Brown and Micha Danzig, who have served on the court this semester only, will each be paid $550.
This stipend will carry over for future court justices and will be re-evaluated in two years.
The vote stems from a proposal submitted last semester by ASUA President Derek Lewis to compensate the justices financially.
"I feel this year, a lot has been asked of this court," Bernstein said. "I feel this court has done an exemplary job."
Bernstein said that the court has been asked to hear about 30 cases this year. He said while all the justices want to serve the student body, he feels they deserve a fair monetary compensation.
Sen. Trent Grimit cast the dissenting vote against the decision, saying monetary rewards should be based on a case-by-case basis.
"I don't think retroactive pay is good at any time," Grimit said. "If you're not already financially stable, don't accept the job." But ASUA President-elect T.J. Trujillo said he was against Grimit's idea because it might give future justices the incentive to hear more cases than necessary.
Trujillo said his administration will re-establish the Stipend Review Board, which will evaluate the validity of stipends to all ASUA members based on actual workload. Trujillo said this move came partially in response to the proposal to pay court justices.
"I see it as rectifying something we should have done," said Dan McGee, GPSC member. McGee said he feels court members deserve the retroactive pay.
In all, both the Senate and the GPSC approved over 10 pieces of legislation each, including bylaw changes and various committee appointments.
"It's a big relief knowing we got to take care of everything we had to do," said Jon Shoemaker, Senate chairman.
In other business, the court will hear the appeal for greek funding on April 26 at 8 p.m. in the College of Law building. The appeal will be heard to determine whether ASUA can prohibit greek and other exclusionary organizations on campus from receiving student government funding. Read Next Article