Haskell Student Still Seeking Payment from Design on T-shirts a Year Later

By Kayla Bointy

The past student senate president Chris Sindone has been accused of not fully paying an artist for designing the 2017 commencement powwow shirt. Michael Begay stated that “he was owed more money that what he was paid for.” The issue began after a misunderstanding of price, lack of official documentation, and lack of professionalism. Despite a new student senate president Calvin Smith Jr. and nearly a year later the artist has yet to be compensated the $260 dollars he is still owed. After exhausting all sources known to him; The Leader has reached out to Mr. Begay to get his story out. The following is a timeline of the incident and how it occurred.

January 25th 2017
Sindone sent via Facebook messenger and asked Michael Begay to design the commencement flyer.
After initial meeting and exchanged messages Begay then designed a Facebook page as well as multiple designs for the flyer, at no cost.

May 11 2018
Sindone met with Begay in person outside of Roe Cloud Roundabout, discussing the floral design from the flyers, wanting to use the design for the t shirts, if Begay allowed them use of the design for the powwow t-shirts which would be sold at the commencement powwow; Sindone Offering a free t shirt in exchange for use of the design. “I know how much money can be made from selling t shirts, so I asked for some type of compensation. I didn’t see it as fair” Begay states.
Sindone initially told Begay the Commencement Powwow shirts would be a fundraiser to make some money for next year’s powwow, based on that Begay agreed to work out a good deal, he then offered a discounted price for the cause, usually charging $5 per shirt for 99 prints anything over is $4 per shirt.
After which Sindone offered 50$ for the whole design, feeling his time and art were worth more Begay counteroffered with two options of whether buying the design as a whole or renting the design. Seeing Sindone was in a rush to leave Begay said he would message him the details of Option A or B . Below is direct quotes taken from the messages.

May 11 at 10:39pm
Begay messaged Sindone explaining the two options , Option #1 “Buying the design from me outright for $500. Option #2 renting the design from (Michael Begay) only for the 2017 Haskell Commencement PW. ($ 2 per shirt royalty fee pay to Michael Begay) for 100 or more shirts printed. or for less than 99 shirts royalty fee is $4 for shirt printed. If you go with option 2 then I require an inventory records of how many shirts printed off

May 16, 2017
Sindone Responded with “Lets do option two . Rent for the powwow $200.
Begay “OK so you going print of 100 OK sounds good .

May 16, 2017
Begay sent a mockup of the t shirt asking when he and how he would get paid. Sindone replied “in cash.“

May 18,2017
Sindone then met Begay on campus, needing a flash drive to upload the digital file as well as handing Begay $200 in cash , Begay handed over his own personal flash drive asked for a receipt/invoice, as per the agreement, Sindone claimed to not have his receipt book with him , but said he would provide one later. That day going to Happy Shirt to complete the order. The commencement powwow was the next day, so it was a rush order.

May 19th the T shirts were finished in time.

May 23,2017
Begay messaged Sindone “Hey do you have a copy of the invoice to send me?”
Sindone replied
“Yes, Give me a bit please’’.

May 24th, 2017
Begay” Hey any luck on the invoice?
Sindone “What’s your email?
Check your email”
After receiving the Happy Shirts Invoice Begay realized there were clearly more shirts printed off then in the agreement ; 130 more shirts were printed then the agreed upon number of 200.
“I counted 230 t-shirts printed off the deal was only for 100 shirts to be printed off”
Sindone resent a screen shot of previous message, after Begay clarified how the previous message was worded, Sindone apologized for the misunderstanding
“I misunderstood well get you the rest”
“ok when will that be?”
“I’ll have to do it tomorrow when the bank is open “
“ok sounds good “
The following day Begay messaged Sindone to which Sindone never replied. After the beginning of the summer semester and several run ins with Sindone, Begay asked to be payed the former student senate president gave him the run around claiming “we are working on it” and other vague excuses, after that Sindone has since stopped replying to Begay’s inquiries, giving him the cold shoulder.

Fall Semester 2017
Begay approached the newly elected Student Senate President Calvin Smith, informing him of the issue and asking him for advice, Begay then provided Smith with screenshots of the conversation and the invoice. Smith promising to bring the issue to Student Senate.

October 30 2017
Begay sent “Hey Mr. President any word on the T-shirt payment with the powwow committee?”
Calvin Smith Replied
“I have yet to talk with our sponsor. I did mention it to him, so he knows about it as well. “
How much long would it be? “
Calvin Smith Replied
“I’m really not sure. I’ve been pushing to get this committee started the past few week. As soon as our budget is approved for the powwow.”

At the time of the interview a year has passed, and it is still an ongoing issue. Indian Leader reached out to Sindone for a response, he emailed back, “That was supposed to be taken care of already. I’m contacting Mr. Begay to find out the situation.” Less than a week away from the 2018 Commencement powwow. Mr. Begay is graduating May 2018 and is subsequently transferring, he hopes to solve the matter before he leaves.

We have added the screenshots of the conversation that happened on Messenger

Edited to add an update: In the days since this article was posted online, Michael Begay and The Indian Leader staff have received many comments on both sides.  The first to respond was newly elected Student Senate President Lindsey Robinson, offering to help resolve the situation. Chris Sindone has since contacted Michael Begay via messenger and offered to come to Haskell in person to work it out.

However, in the meantime Mr. Begay was directly emailed by the Office of the President, in which Dr. Chenault acknowledged the outstanding balance and are offering a check through the Student Bank for $260.00.

Michael Begay in a closing statement “I would like to thank both Mr. Prue and Dr. Chenault for acknowledging and finding a solution for someone else’s mistake. I would also like to thank the Staff and Editors of the Indian Leader for helping solve unfinished business and I hope no other students are taken advantage of by a club or campus person in power. Also Thank you to Lindsey Robinson for responding so quickly and trying to find a solution. “


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