Senate creates committee to plan leadership stipends

Rebecca Savransky, Managing Editor

Associated Student Government passed legislation Wednesday to establish an ad-hoc committee responsible for evaluating applications for the student leadership stipend, a need-based fund developed to help students pursue leadership positions.

The $10,000 fund, which was approved by Senate last spring, will be distributed to 20 students who will each receive $500 stipends. Preference will be given to students with financial need.

The committee will be chaired by Erik Zorn, ASG executive vice president, who will then select the additional members. Members of the committee will be responsible for “creating, advertising, and evaluating applications,” according to the legislation.

“They’ll be developing what the application looks like as well as determining how we actually publicize this to the entire student body to make sure that it is friendly, particularly to low-income students,” Zorn said.

The Weinberg senior said the committee would not be evaluating the financial portion of the application but would focus mainly on merit. Zorn will coordinate the submissions with the Center for Student Involvement, Financial Aid and Payroll to assess the financial need. The committee will not make a final decision on which applicants are chosen, Zorn said.

Zorn said the committee will likely have between six and 10 members.

“The idea is that anyone from the entire Northwestern community could apply to this so that’s why anyone from the entire Northwestern community can be on it,” he said.

Zorn added he had already reached out to students in several different groups to be a part of the committee, including Northwestern Community Development Corps., Global Engagement Summit and Wildcat Welcome.

“I tried to be very diverse with the groups that I’ve reached out to,” he said.

The committee will work with the Center for Student Enrichment Services, a new campus resource focused on helping low-income and first-generation college students. The center will then incorporate the stipend program into their services and the committee will be dissolved.

Senate also held elections for members of the Wild Ideas Fund Committee, which will help decide how to allot the fund. The Wild Ideas Fund, which was passed last spring, will allow students and student groups to request funding for new ideas and initiatives. Depending on the monetary value of the requests, the committee will decide whether or not to allot the money among themselves or present the idea to Senate.

Senate also nominated members to be a part of the selection committee to choose the new chief of staff after Weinberg junior Rafael Henriquez, who serves as the current chief of staff, announced his plans to step down.

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