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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New student activities budget results in fewer hours for many

The Budget and Finance Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government has decreased the amount the Student Activities Trust Fund puts towards student employment. All paid student employment positions have been reviewed and cuts have been made across the board from the Student Arts and Events Council to student center coordinators, senate members, and Harbor Art Gallery student staff.
“The decision [was] made to move the money saved from all cuts to club funding to impact more students,” says Shelby J. Harris, Assistant Dean of Students at University of Massachusetts Boston.
The coordinators of every student center will now be paid for 15 hours of work per week, rather than 20. The assistant coordinator position is no longer paid.
Rachel Ezieme, the vice president of the African Student Union, explains that coordinators will spend less time in their center, meaning that there will be fewer activities in the centers. And that will impact student life and experience on campus.
Ezieme is also involved in the Black Student Center. As an out-of-state student, she says, “social life here is really important to me; it is a key for retention.”
Harris believes that the cuts should not be an issue, but rather an opportunity to see genuine leadership flourish on the UMass Boston campus. As she put it, “We hope that our centers will begin to rely more on the many volunteers that wish to be a real part of making the centers successful.”
She mentioned that 90 student clubs, including the African Student Union, Muslim Student Union, ENACTUS, Golden Key Honor Society, and many more, function without paid employees and are successful. “I have seen unpaid, motivated, successful leaders at every institution where I have worked,” she concluded.
Denise Small, the new coordinator of the Black Student Center, believes that the unpaid status of the assistant coordinator position might become a problem when it comes to getting them totally committed. “People really need incentive to do something,” she stated.
“We cannot be naïve and pretend that those students do not have some sort of financial difficulties [to cope with],” she added. She acknowledged that any organization can always rely on volunteers, but a little bit of encouragement to someone who is dedicated to do something can make a difference.
Meanwhile Helen Ngo, the new coordinator of the Asian American Center, says that she would have taken her position and committed to it even if it was unpaid. “Money and work shifts were the last things I thought about when I decided to apply for this coordinator position,” she mentioned. “The center is like my home and I just want to make it a home for others too,” she added.
She mentioned that she is aware that sometimes she will work more hours than she gets paid for. But she said that would not affect her performance and her efficacy. “To serve as a coordinator you must have the drive and put your heart to it,” she concluded.
Along the same line Cheidy Meneide, the chair of Students Events and Organizations committee, describes each of the coordinators, including, the students who will be volunteering their time in the centers, as “selfless.” He encourages them to build up each other, to combine their efforts and support one another, then to keep up their energy and their passion.