UISG cuts salaries


Iowa students walk up the stairs of the Capital Building for Hawkeye Caucus on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Iowa students along with members of UISG ventured to the Capital Building to thank state representatives for tuition freeze and new improvements made to the Iowa campus. (The Daily Iowan/Callie Mitchell)

University of Iowa Student Government executives made a voluntary salary reduction this year.

By Zhao Li
[email protected]

As the new student government takes hold, some of its leaders opted to drop their salaries.

The University of Iowa Student Government president, vice president and the chief financial officer made a voluntary salary reduction by $838, $838, and $559, respectively.

President Liz Mills and Vice President Morgan Brittain now make $8,377. Chief Financial Officer Kolton Dahms makes $3,909.

 Dahms ran for vice president in the 2015 election.

“I think it is really admirable that Liz and Morgan, president and vice president, followed up on their campaign promises to reduce their salaries,” said Rachel Zuckerman, the UISG speaker pro tem.

The REAL Party, to which Mills and Brittain belong, immediately made cutting their salaries as one of their first executive actions.

“Our philosophy is we should not get rich doing this job; we like doing this job,” Brittain said.

Brittain said the cutting is simply to better serve the students.

“We allow more money to be spent on student organization allocations, services that benefit students like Safe Ride and the bus shuttle to Coral Ridge Mall,” he said.

Some of the savings went into different funds.

“We increased Senate funds because we brought back leadership training for student government,” UISG communications liaison Carter Yerkes said. “It is a weekend retreat where all the student government executives get to meet and share experiences, and have diversity training there.”

He also said they added salaries for those with heavy workloads who were not getting paid from UISG.

 “We wanted to add an additional salary to our vice City Council liaison. Simply because of the workload,” Brittain said. “It is not fair since everyone else in the executive branch who was doing work about the same numbers per week was getting paid, and that person was not.”

The vice City Council liaison, Jake Simpson, now makes $1,000.

 Brittain said being president or vice president did have some “benefits,” like getting free entry into football games, travel expenses for meetings, or getting invited to events the UI president hosts.

“But it’s all for work,” Brittain said. “We need to interact with the donors and the legislators during the games or share students’ problems or suggestions with the school officials.”

Yerkes also said it’s not about the money.

“The benefits that we get in the form of compensation is nothing compared to the how much we do for helping the student body,” Yerkes said. “It is all about helping our peers.”

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