EDITORIAL: Extra curricular activities aren’t jobs

Joining a student organization on campus is a great way to make new friends, enhance your academic career and, in some cases, get paid. The latter is probably something that many students here at Kent State, including the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, didn’t know. And where is that money coming from? You guessed it, Kent State: your tuition dollars.

According to the Leadership Compensation Matrix given to the editorial board by the Undergraduate Student Senate, the university pays leaders of the following ten organizations every semester: Undergraduate Student Senate, International Student Organization, International Film Society, All-Campus Programming Board, Student Leadership Development Board, Inter-Greek Programming Board, Commuter Off-Campus Student Organization, Pride!Kent, Spanish and Latino Student Association and Black United Students.

Granted, we believe many of the organizations on this list do deserve compensation. ACPB President Christy Bostardi receives $1,673 a semester and the other 12 board members receive $837 a semester.

Smaller groups like the International Film Society and the Commuter Off-Campus Student Organization should also get paid because they serve the interests of the entire Kent State community. The university only pays the IFS president in the amount of $418 a semester. The executive director of COSO gets paid $837 a semester, while the remaining four board members get paid $418 a semester.

Where we have issues about groups getting paychecks are the inconsistencies that Kent State follows by compensating leaders of BUS, SALSA and Pride!Kent. Students should not have to pay the salaries for groups that cater themselves to small portions of the student population.

Leaders of these groups will argue, saying something along the lines of, “That’s not true, we open up our doors to everyone.” But let’s be real – how many “outsiders” join these groups?

According to the USS records mentioned earlier, the presidents of Pride!Kent and SALSA receive compensation in the amount of $418 a semester. Granted, the amount may not be much, but paying these organizations is discriminatory.

Many students may not be comfortable with their money going toward paying the salaries of an LGBT group. Arguably, Pride!Kent is an organization that pushes a specific ideology at Kent State. Do religious organizations not do the same? Where is the Muslim Students Association’s paycheck?

And as far as cultural groups are concerned, why pay the president of SALSA and not the presidents of Kent African Student Association or the Chinese Student and Scholar Association?

Even worse, every single board member in BUS, according to the USS records, gets paid. The BUS president gets paid $837 a semester and the other nine board members receive $418 a semester. Does the BUS president really deserve the same amount of money that a board member of ACPB gets?

If the university is paying these organizations as a means to avoid any possible confrontation with BUS, Pride!Kent or SALSA, then we are calling them out on it.

To be fair, any group that doesn’t aim toward the entire student body doesn’t deserve pay.

Note: Staff members of the Daily Kent Stater do get paid, but their paychecks come from the newspaper’s self-generated advertising revenue.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.