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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    USG revamps organization of payroll

    At one time, Undergraduate Student Government employees would walk into the main office located in the Student Activities Center and punch in and out of a time clock, leaving them with an inked time stamp to represent how long they had worked for the day.

    But then the clock broke.

    Since then, USG has been using the traditional pen and paper to keep tabs of their hours and shifts, and USG President Mark Maloof plans on keeping it that way. But after two vice presidents’ resignations that were eventually linked with a misappropriation of money for payroll, Maloof made a decision to revamp the organization of the system.

    The way payroll will be presented now is in a list separated by offices, rather than individuals, as it was prior to November, when the former Vice President of Communications Farjad Fazli and Vice President of Clubs and Organizations Allen Abraham resigned. The new system will represent the different tiers of employees, as well as the number of hours each office is allotted and how many hours were actually assigned during the payroll period.

    “The regular staff would be separate from the directors,” Maloof said. “The directors would be separate from the supervisors. And therefore, we can also go back and see, this is how many hours the agency was contracted for. Does it match up?”

    The new system may not be foolproof if someone is trying to cheat the system of money, but it will make it harder.

    “We’re never going to know who specifically was going over,” Maloof said, adding that they may never know for sure if someone is working for the seven hours their payroll form shows they worked or someone is working for four hours, when they may be working more than their payroll form shows.

    But, he said, the system will make the manager of the employees accountable.

    “It also allowed for more accountability on the end of payroll, the president, administrative director and office administrator to look at the information and look at these main lines that we have to focus on. We don’t have to go line by line anymore and look at every individual, which didn’t help us anyway,” Maloof said.

    Payroll forms are done by hand on a sheet that includes the student’s name and identification number, the payroll period’s beginning and end dates, and comments. Below the comments section, which would reflect the duties fulfilled in accordance with objectives for the payroll period, is the student’s signature and the supervisor’s signature.

    Maloof said that having a clock would not make the system any easier because student employees often stay in their office to do their homework instead of work for USG. Punching in and out would make it easier to lie about how much time was spent there versus how much time was spent doing actual work for the organization.

    “What I think is more important is more of a task-based approach to it,” Maloof said. “There’s a certain amount of things I expect you to get done, and I want to see the progress that you’ve made in this week.”

    SUNY’s University at Albany uses the stipend approach for its employees. The executive board, the attorney, the Director of Operations — who is not a student — receive stipends. The only employees who get wages are the assistants for the Director of Operations, who do tasks such as picking up the phone. The stipend-paid employees must work a minimum of 10 hours a week. In order to have a stipend, however, the former president has to institute it in the budget the year before. To make any changes to payroll, it has to go through the senate, according to the Student Association’s Chief of Staff Jay Wholley.

    “It’s much better that way,” Wholley said. “It keeps some continuity. You can’t decide randomly who is going to get paid. You have to know before you come in what you can do.”

    The new system for USG has already been implemented, but its effects will become more apparent next semester when classes and work are back in session.

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