Starting next fall, Honor Board executive members will receive stipends as compensation for the time and effort they commit to the position.
Senior and outgoing Co-Chair Coltan Parker estimates the position requires roughly 60 hours of work per term.
“Being one of the chairs of the board is a very intense, administrative job,” he said.
Student Senate voted on April 19 to provide Honor Board co-chair and secretary positions with stipends after reviewing a proposal the Board submitted to Senate earlier this term. Honor Board will now join Union Board and Senate itself in receiving executive position stipends from the student activity fund. The stipend amount, however, has yet to be decided.
These leadership commitments are incentivized because they serve the entire campus, according to Senate, which discussed the proposal at length.
Parker explained that he and his fellow outgoing co-chair, senior Keegan Dohm, spend anywhere from five to 20 hours on a single case.
Each is responsible for overseeing roughly half of the cases brought forward every term. After receiving a case, the co-chair must contact everyone involved, including potential witnesses or experts in the given field. The average case lasts for several weeks, Parker said, during which time a co-chair meets individually with the parties involved and schedules a hearing with the Board. Following the hearing and its verdict, the co-chair writes up the case report and files it with the Office of the Dean within 24 hours.
“It’s not just the fact that we put in a lot of time and energy and that it is a stressful position,” said Parker. “It’s also the fact that all of this time and energy and stress is a necessary function for the school.”
Most colleges, he said, hire professionals to perform the tasks Honor Board fulfills at Knox.
Associate Dean Lori Shroeder, Honor Board’s advisor, said in an email that she strongly supports the Board’s proposal because, like Senate or Union Board, its executive leaders provide time-consuming services.
But receiving a stipend isn’t just about recognizing the time and stress of the position, according to one of next year’s co-chairs, junior Nabila Dadar. She explained that a fellow member, who was initially considered for a chair position this year, said he wouldn’t be able to take it on because of the time it would take away from earning money.
“If we take so much pride in diversity at Knox, we need to accommodate for people that are from diverse backgrounds,” Dadar said. “We can’t let people who have financial privileges just take leadership opportunities. That’s not fair.”
Senior and Senate Finance Committee Chair Rahil Savani explained that a similar proposal was submitted by Honor Board last year, but came too late in the budgeting process to be considered; Senate’s funds had already been allocated by then.
Now, he and his committee have two weeks to decide on a stipend amount for the two chairs and secretary positions and propose it to Senate. He’s working with Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern to decide where to pull the funds from Senate’s yearly budget, which totals roughly $450,000, according to Savani.
“Some things will have to be cut,” Savani said. He and Southern are currently in the the process of eliminating extraneous fund requests from clubs, Union Board, the Broadcast, Internet and Publications Committee and athletics.
For example, Savani may nix requests for an unspecified speaker and events that don’t benefit the campus community or don’t match a club’s mission statement.
Senate will pass a final decision before the end of term.