Tonight the Associated Students of Madison Student Council will be reviewing their own compensations. A piece of legislation raising stipends for the top positions within student government has been introduced.
The bill proposes raising the ASM Chair's stipend from 85 percent of tuition to 100 percent. It would raise the Vice Chair's pay from 70 percent to 80 percent. Pay for thirteen other positions would go up as well, although the pay difference between, say, the ASM secretary and the chair of the Student Service Finance Committee (which decides which organizations get segregated fee funding) are quite large.
When I asked the ASM Secretary, Matt Manes, whether he thought the compensation accurately reflected the workloads he responded "absolutely not." But he said that the stipends isn't designed to pay students for the work they do, but rather to make student government a viable option for those who aren't "trust fund babies."
The problem with student government is that so few people pay enough attention to hold lazy officials accountable. Hence, it's not inconceivable for deadbeats to run for the positions just to get tuition reductions. It's happened quite a bit in the past. The only remedy seems to be the student press, which at times shines light on the incompetency and laziness (when it arises).