Current Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 18:03:49 -0500
The UNC student body vice president’s position will remain open to all students — regardless of financial means.
Student Congress tried to sustain Student Body President Will Leimenstoll’s veto of a bill that would have eliminated the vice president’s $2400 annual stipend at a meeting Tuesday.
The vote was 17-14 with three abstaining, meaning that members failed to gather the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.
Leimenstoll spearheaded the veto’s opposition movement by contacting members of Student Congress to discuss the bill.
He said he was grateful for the two-week period before the vote, which allowed him time to get to know members on a more personal level.
“We were able to make our case in a friendlier and more informal way,” Leimenstoll said.
Leimenstoll, who receives financial aid, has said that he would not have run for student body president if he did not receive a stipend.
“Now that the stipend will be preserved, the next UNC student body vice president can take the best care of the campus, regardless of their financial background,” he said.
Leimenstoll officially issued the veto on Nov. 18 — five days after the bill passed.
The veto marked the first time he had used his veto power in the 94th session of congress, in which 160 bills and resolutions had been introduced.
Travis Crayton, co-sponsor of the bill, said he was disappointed in the vote because it gives leaders of student government an advantage over leaders of other student organizations.
Crayton said that during the two weeks before the vote, he did not hear any feedback from fellow students in opposition of the bill.
“This is just one battle in a much longer fight to make students more accountable of their money and be more fair to student organizations,” he said.
Student Congress also passed a resolution Tuesday recommending that UNC’s Alert Carolina emergency notification system always classify any alleged armed and dangerous person on campus as an emergency.
The bill specifies that an emergency warning should be issued when gunmen are within one mile of campus.
The legislation stems from Student Congress’ frustration with the delayed Alert Carolina notification after a shooting Nov. 14 at 108 E. Franklin St., outside Walgreens.
Jessica Best, a congress member and co-sponsor of the bill, said she hopes Alert Carolina will take notice of congress’ stance.
“If I were at the library, I would want to know that someone with a gun was on campus,” she said.
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