This past week, the Stony Brook Statesman released a damning article decrying the compensation entitled to the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at Stony Brook University—namely, the fact that USG senators and executive committee members are financially compensated for their services. Before I say any more about the audacity of this accusation, I should probably explain my own experiences as an e-board member of various student organizations. I have worked extensively with USG throughout my 4 years of undergrad, and I think that the members of USG deserve a standing ovation and nothing less than praise for all the work that they do for the Seawolf community.
I worked as a Treasurer for the Stony Brook UNICEF Campus Initiative, a Vice President of Community Service for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), a founding member and fundraising chair for the newly-minted National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and as a Co-Head of Community Service for the Muslim Students Association (MSA), alongside a multitude of other leadership roles on Stony Brook campus.
In each of these roles, I was required to collaborate alongside USG to secure funding and promotion for a variety of events, such as MSA's Midnight Run, UNICEF's trip to the annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C, and NSCS's March 2 College event. Every interaction that I had with the administration in SAC 202 in preparation for these events was marked by nothing short of the utmost professionalism and sincerity in their efforts to help me submit the required paperwork and obtain approval in a timely fashion for our efforts to become a reality.
I have had no higher honor at Stony Brook than being able to work alongside such motivated, time-sensitive, and determined visionaries in USG, who taught me everything that I know now about the sacrifices of leadership, the rewards of a hard work ethic, and the perseverance to push past mind-rending exhaustion in order to meet the demands of over 500 clubs at SBU.
Every day, I would walk into SAC 202 and see the USG Treasurer working hard to properly file all of the vouchers that clubs would submit in order to organize funding for events. I would see the President constantly meeting with heads of various departments in order to ensure that privileges that we get to enjoy as Seawolves, things we take for granted—such as Roth Regatta, Back to the Brook, Wolfieland, and Brookfest—were arranged properly on time.
I would see the USG Secretary working hard to secure meeting times with line-budget clubs in order to make sure grants were decided upon through Senate hearings, listening to the various reasons as to why a specific club needed their grant to represent SBU. Throughout all of these situations, not once did I witness any of the USG staff lose their composure—they worked tirelessly through endless Senate meetings, proposal sessions, and planning through a slew of events without so much as a whiff of a complaint.
For all of their efforts, the members of USG deserve nothing less than the highest praise, and they have absolutely earned their financial compensation. Without all of their hard work and dedication, our campus would not be nearly as vibrant as it is now. Their commitment to the Seawolf community should never be doubted.