Last week Judah Joseph, public relations director of the Concerts Committee, wrote a letter to the Daily Trojan lamenting the lack of funding for his organization. He has a point: The 2014-2015 total USG budget increased by $71,273.03 (3.76 percent) compared to 2013-2014, but the Concerts Committee budget decreased by $2,908.09 (1.06 percent) over the same time period.
Joseph quotes an article I wrote for the Daily Trojan entitled, “USG salaries established as the highest in Pac-12,” to emphasize that the USG budget is relatively small compared to other schools, but USG still “receive[s] quotes that are two or three times higher than quotes for other schools.”
However, the solution Joseph proposed ignores an action that USG can take without asking students for more money: cutting student stipends.
As I already reported in the article that Joseph quoted, USG student stipends are much higher than stipends in other Pac-12 schools. However, while the Concerts Committee had its funding slashed this year, USG increased student stipends by $10,092.43 (4.24 percent). Instead of spending another 10 grand to pay themselves, USG should have spent that money on concerts and other programming for USC students.
Joseph opens his article by writing that his committee serves undergraduate students. It’s time for USG as a whole to better serve undergrads and pay themselves less to leave more room in the budget for concerts.
Junior, international relations and global economy
Editors’ note: Though he is no longer affiliated with the Daily Trojan, Dan Morgan-Russell was a former writer.