Editorial: Enforcement of stipend policy causes controversy

As a result of a recent decision made by the Associated Students of Linfield College Cabinet, students working in more than one stipend-receiving position in campus media will only be allowed a stipend for one of the positions starting next year. This has been listed in ASLC’s Budgetary Policy for some time and has been enforced for ASLC Cabinet and LAB members. But ASLC has only now decided to enforce it among the student media organizations: TLR, KSLC 90.3 FM, Wildcat Productions and Camas Journal of Art & Literature.

Not only do we feel that applying this one-stipend policy to media is completely outrageous, we also feel that this is an utterly random, inappropriate time to begin to enforce this policy.

There are several students in student media who hold more than one stipend-receiving media position. Stipends for media positions amount to pennies compared to the hours these students work, but the stipends represent value and recognition to these students even if the amount is insubstantial.

This is also not the time for ASLC to begin enforcing this
policy. Hiring for stipend media positions began weeks ago, and the students who were doing the hiring and those who were hired were not aware of this rule’s existence. It cannot be found in the ASLC Employment Policy that students in these jobs are required to read and sign; rather, it’s written in the Budgetary Policy, which is not the appropriate document to address matters related to personnel and employment.

Students do take these positions for the learning experience, but allowing only one stipend will
likely prevent students from applying for more than one position. More and more, the skills and requirements of media professionals are crossing over medium to medium. If students in communications don’t apply for positions on multiple student media outlets, they may be missing important lessons.

We understand that ASLC has a responsibility to enforce pre-established policies. But, when such policies conflict as greatly with student interest as this one does, then ASLC should examine why the policy has not been applied to student media in the past and consider the many negative impacts that it will have on students seeking knowledge and experience in mass communication.

The Review Editorial Board

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