|Paper||Westminster College Student Newspapers|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Westminster College Student Newspapers|
September 17, Forum Page 2 1982 Letters to the editor This is the first issue of the academic year. As the Editor of the FORUM, I will state some policies. First, this is a student newspaper. Articles are contributed by student reporters about subjects of stu-deinterest. Second, Letters to the Editor from interested, responsible parties are welcome and encouraged. However, letters of poor taste are subject to editing by the staff of the paper. Third, Utters to the Editor which attack specific parties will be shown to the parties mentioned. A right of rebuttal" policy will be enforced which allows the attacked parties to reply in the same issue. If I, or members of my staff, are unable to contact the individuals attacked, then the letter will be held until those persons can be reached and given the opportunity to reply. This brings me to an unfortunately early example of the third policy. In our first issue is a letter by Randy Brown, senior class representative to Legislative Assembly. In it he attacks the publication editors and executive cabinet of the student government with an ample amount of misinformation. I, too, am a representative to Legislative Assembly. Somehow, our understanding of the workings of ASWC differs. I will try to correct the misinformation with some nt facts. First, his use of the term "highly centralized. This is a glittering generality which shows his lack of knowledge concerning ASWC. The decision-makin- g processes are not concentrated in the President. There is a very careful system provided for in the The executive cabinet members, Mike Black, Julie Bell, Howard Carter and Trudy Rocha, were elected by the students last spring. After the elections, job descriptions for each cabinet member were created in accordance with the newly revised These job descriptions were reviewed and accepted by the Dean of Students. Each officer and editor undergoes a monthly job evaluation before heshe may receive the months stipend. Work hours must be logged indicating at least the minimum office hour requirements. The members of "the gang of four regularly exceed the required hours. For the hours they put in, the officers are making $.60 to $ 1 .25 per hour. As the Editor of this paper, I am putting in 25-3- 0 hours per week at the well-pai- d rate of $.95 to $1.15 per hour. Next, budget hearing notifications were posted last year. The reason notices haven't been posted this year is that the ASWC treasurer does not yet have the figures from the Business Office with which to submit the final budget. Notices will be posted and students are encouraged to participate in the budget hearings when the final budget is ready. Finally, Mr. Brown said that students are little benefitted by the $70 student fee. I say that one only has to look at the Master Calendar for the semester to see the number of events planned. If students do not wich to take advantage of, and attend these events, that is their choice. Master Calendars are available in the Public Information Office, Malouf Hall, and Student Government Office. Instead of condemning the new officers and editors before they have had a chance to prove themselves, I hope responsible students will take the time to become informed with facts and truth concerning the of This ASWC. should, in the future, prevent the spreading workings of misinformation. Anne C. Sanders, Editor check-and'balan- by-law- ce s. by-law- s. FYI Having just read a letter to the Editor submitted by Randy C. Brown, I conclude that Randy is simply misinformed and confused by the information he has compiled. Randy complains that "Westminster College is suffering from a student government which is too highly centralized. The dictionary defines cen- tralized as to bring to a central point, or under central control. I would not want to see ASWC any less coordinative and centralized than it already is. I believe ASWC is functioning efficiently, with numerous organizations and supportive members working closely and effectively together. The student body of Westminster College is suffering from student government which is too highly centralized and too well paid. Most students of Westminster College are unaware that the Associated Students of Westa minster College generate revenues of nearly $50, 000 a year. The decision-makin- g processes are heavily concentrated in the Pres- ident who chairs that gang of four known as the executive cabinet. For their services a generous amount of that $50,000 is spent. In fact, last year stipends accounted for approximately 25 of student funds. In other words, approximately $12,000 was spent on student body officers and support personnel such as the editors of school publications and photographers. The budgeting process illustrates how centralized ASWC power has become. Present procedures call for the treasurer to make up a budget and submit that budget to the Legislative Assembly for approval. Public budget hearings required by the have been igASWC by-lanored in past years and, as yet, there has been no announcements made for public hearings on this years budget. In past years, the legislative assembly has been weak and not much more than a rubber stamp of the executive cabinet. The results of this concentration of power in the hands of the executive cabinet has been an alienated student body generally ignorant of their potential to control $50,000, ignorant of the mistakes and inefficiencies of their student government and little benefitted by the $70.00 e which every student pays for student body fees every full-tim- year. spent on a literary journal consisting of 12 poems and one short, short one act play? Much could be done with $50,000 to enhance our college and its future reputation and even existence. At this point, only through budget hearings can the student outside the Presidential inner circle be heard. This is your money see to it that it is spent wisely. Finally, it seems unlikely that executive cabinet leadership would be willing to divest itself of unchecked power when that Randy C. Brown, Senior Class Representative to the Legislative Assembly for greater efficiency. The positions of Speaker of Legislative Assembly and Chairman of Shaw Center Board were created. This removed the responsibility from the executive cabinet and created the opportunity for both of these groups to elect their own leader from within their membership. President, ASWC on behalf of the ASWC executive cabinet too well paid, have never had a job that required as much time and effort, required as much responsibility to coordinate so many people and tasks as being an executive cabinet officer. As for the pay, each member of the executive cabinet averages less (much less) than $1 per hour for the time required to do the job. Further, each ASWC stipended (paid) officer is required to submit a job description, Each officer also maintains a personal log of job related time to further account for the stipend received. Public hearings have not been ignored in past years. Last year more than live open, public hearings were held to action may jeopardize their pork barrel dippings. As a member of the legislative assembly, I call upon every student at Westminster College to demand to know where their $70.00 a year are going to be spent. I exhort you to critically examine the 82 yearbook and decide if that is where you want $10,500 to be spent this year. Do you want nearly $2,500 ASWC executive cabinet was Mike Black, As for being I I give the responsible person(s) from each budgeted organization and activity the opportunity to speak for their budget request. These meetings were well at- tended by interested students. This year, with only one week into the school year with no information received from the Business Office yet, announcements for budget hearings have not been made. Once the information is provided, once the Legislative Assembly elections are held, once there is a full representative assembly, open hearings for the discussion of the budget will be announced and held. There will be considerable opportunity for all students to be involved in these hearings. All students will be encouraged to attend the hearings and take part. Randy states that it seems unlikely that executive cabinet leadership would be willing to divest itself of unchecked power. This past Spring, executive cabinet leadership spent a great deal of time and effort studying the ASWC by-la. Then, several meetings of the Legislative Assembly were held to give the maximum number of student representatives the opportunity to have input into this document. Representative Brown was a member of the assembly that designed and approved the now available ASWC As a result of those efforts, the by-law- s. No student need demand to know where their $70.00 a year are going to be spent. Each of us has the opportunity to request to see the budget and records. They are documents open to the student body. Further, the budget is published in the student newspaper. The first indication of how the student activity fees are being spent is in the Fall activity calendar. A Spring calendar will be available in January. All students are encouraged to contact any ASWC officer for any information. All students are actively encouraged to get involved in any of the organizations and activities. The initials A.S.W.C. stand for the Associated Students of Westminster College. This does not mean only the four elected officers of the executive cabinet, but all students of Westminster College. This message is obviously being received as indicated by the requests for applications for appointed positions and the attendance at the first two activities. I appreciate this opportunity to respond to the remarks made by Randy Brown and the opportunity to further inform the student body of ASWC.