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WVU student leader perks higher than elsewhere

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The student body president and vice president at West Virginia University receive far greater benefits for their service than some of their counterparts in the Big 12 conference.

On top of getting their tuition paid for in full, they receive a $6,500 stipend for the current academic year.

The stipend is part of the budget that the student body presidents propose at the beginning of each year and the Board of Governors has to approve.

“I think it’s really unethical (that I picked my own salary) which is why I decided to decrease the salary,” said Ryan Campione, student body president for the 2013-14 year. “The salary for the president and vice president got down significantly from what it was to just barely paying for room.”

The total value of the compensation for serving one year as student body president or vice president at WVU is about $12,000 if the elected official is charged in-state tuition. If an out-of-state student were to serve as student body president and keep the current salary, the compensation would exceed $22,000.

Out of the schools in the Big 10 and Big 12 conferences with available data on compensations, The Ohio State University was the only university in which the estimated compensation exceeded that of WVU.

Schools such as the University of Michigan and Northwestern University do not give out any compensation to their student government officials and most universities’ total compensation amounts to far less than $10,000.

WVU was the only school that offered both a salary and paid tuition.

Newly elected president Chris Nyden said he believes the compensation is necessary to ensure the president can fulfill his or her duties efficiently and avoid having to take a second job.

“It really is a full-time job if you’re doing it correctly, and I am probably in my office 50-plus hours per week,” Nyden said…

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