By Maurice Cacho
Associate News Editor
The Continuing Education Students’ Association at Ryerson is spending twice as much on executive member salaries this year than last.
Last year, student-elected CESAR executives were paid a total of $18,333. The honorariums have more than doubled this year to $41,662. Chris McNeil, CESAR vice-president finance, said the increase was appropriate considering the number of hours current executives put into their jobs.
“I know the current execs are doing more hours, anywhere from 30 to 50 hours a week,” said McNeil. “(The honorariums) still don’t even equal out to a decent hourly wage if it was a salary.”
Although former CESAR vice-president finance and board member Shanta Nathawani said she feels a wage increase was needed, she said she was surprised by the raise. “With the amount of time (executives) spent, I think it was justified to make some sort of upwards adjustment,” she said. “Why it was doubled, I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense.”
Because money is usually left over in CESAR’s budgets, McNeil said the increase in executive wages will not take away from student events and services. “What we’re trying to do is not have a huge surplus because we want to use the students’ money as much as possible,” he said.
The traditional CESAR barbecue, a three-day event usually held midsummer, instead took place in September — its $11,000 budget cut down to $1,000. The association is also budgeting to spend nearly twice as much on Special Projects ($20,000) and Legal Expenses ($15,420).
The Programs and Events budget has been cut from $15,000 to $2,980. McNeil hopes to use the Special Projects fund if new ideas for events and services come up. “In the past, the emphasis was on how do we save more money,” he said.
“We want to make sure that if there’s any other services we can provide, we actually plan a way to provide them.”