Student Congress debates elections section of Student Code

The number of signatures student body president candidates need to get their name on the ballot is once again under scrutiny.

Title VI — the section of the Student Code that covers student elections — is under revision, but members of Student Congress differ on how many required signature a candidate needs.

Zach De La Rosa, speaker of Student Congress, said the bill with Title VI revisions maintains the current quota of 1,250 unique signatures.

Adam Horowitz, speaker pro tempore, submitted a separate bill that aims to decrease the quota to 1,000 signatures.

He said maintaining the number of required signatures at 1,250 would inconvenience the student body and lead to violations.

Andrew Phillips, former Board of Elections chairman, said decreasing the signature count would be beneficial to candidates.

“Lowering the signature count may allow more candidates to appear on the ballot, but 1,000 to 1,250 signatures won’t make that much of a difference,” he said.

“Personally, I think a lower count is better.”

Despite differing on the preferred number of signatures, De La Rosa and Horowitz worked together on the revision of Title VI.

Horowitz said the changes proposed in the overall Title VI revision were needed after the drama and lawsuits of last year’s election.

“Few enjoyed the election last year, and we shouldn’t be putting students through that kind of pain,” he said.

De La Rosa said another revision in the bill would cease fining candidates for violations and instead use a point system to disqualify candidates.

He said revisions also clarify that candidates cannot sue the Board of Elections.

The bill prohibits members of the judicial branch and the Board of Elections from participating in student body elections, De La Rosa said.

He added that members of the executive and legislative branches will be allowed to participate in elections and endorse candidates.

De La Rosa said this will be the most contentious Student Code reform bill thus proposed but hopes the support of Student Body President Mary Cooper, Horowitz and various members of the rules and judiciary committee will help.

“If two people in the seniormost leadership positions who can rarely agree can agree on this bill, it is necessary,” De La Rosa said about himself and Horowitz.

“This is pertinent to this year’s elections, and I hope it passes.”
De La Rosa said he is continuing to clarify the Student Code.

“I want a student government that is responsible and responsive,” he said.

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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