Members of the Joint Elections Committee will not be paid for their work on the JEC this year, according to a memo issued by a University administrator this week.
Jen McCarthy, coordinator of student organizations for the Student Activities Center and the JEC’s adviser, wrote in a memo Monday that the JEC charter does not provide compensation for committee members. The JEC oversees campus elections for the Marvin Center Governing Board, Program Board and Student Association.
JEC member Darrell Villaruz and former member Kim McCaughey, who served on the committee both this year and last year, said members of the committee were compensated for their work when the polls were open in the 1998 election. Both said they were paid for the 24 hours that polls were open during last year’s election and they assumed they would be compensated again.
McCaughey said the money the JEC members received was only compensation for working at the polls and was not payment for the work they did on the committee. Pollwatchers who are hired by the JEC for the two election days are compensated.
“The total did not take into account the countless hours the JEC has spent in meetings and office hours,” McCaughey said. “It was only for work on election days, when JEC members were either on call or working at polling stations for the full time that the polls were open.”
MCGB Chair Mike Petron said there was concern it would appear JEC members were receiving special treatment if they were paid for working during this year’s election.
“Just because they (were paid) one year doesn’t validate them getting paid each year,” Petron said. “The thing is, they got paid last year without telling anyone, and people didn’t know until it had already happened.”
McCarthy said she contacted former JEC advisers and was told JEC members had not been compensated for their work in the past.
Petron said the issue of JEC members being paid for working elections arose after four members of this year’s JEC, including McCaughey, resigned. He said the issue was discussed with the remaining JEC members, and they accepted the decision.
Villaruz said the matter was discussed with the committee, but said he is unsure if administrators considered JEC opinions.
“We are still a student organization, but we are chartered by the SA, PB and MCGB, so in some sense we are different,” Villaruz said. “I would have liked to have been paid for the services I provided when I did watch the polls.”
Villaruz and McCaughey expressed concern that the memo came from McCarthy rather than the heads of the SA, PB and MCGB.
Petron said McCarthy sent the letter to inform JEC members who resigned.
“Jen thought she would send the memo to be nice,” he said. “I had no plans on sending anything out to my JEC members.”