The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, June 23, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Members questioned whether Young's Student Empowerment Endowment could give the student body president budgetary powers reserved for Congress and set a precedent discouraging less wealthy students from running for student body president.

But after discussing the matter with Young on Sunday , Congress decided to allocate Young his $2,400 stipend.

SEE would use the student body president's stipend and private donations to fund individuals or organizations selected by a committee made up of Young's staff members, students and administrators.

Sunday's meeting followed a series of contentious exchanges between Congress and Young's camp. Debate over the executive branch's budget, from which the stipend is derived, led Speaker Alexandra Bell to subpoena Young Saturday night.

Matt Jones, Young's former campaign manager, sent Congress members an e-mail later that night asking them to "show students that student government can be more than a territorial, back-biting field where little junior administrators play." The e-mail, which Young said he did not approve, as well as a handout distributed by Young supporters at the meeting, annoyed several Congress members Sunday night.

"I've never felt more patronized by the executive branch than by Matt Jones' e-mail and this handout," said congressman Greg Wahl.

Congress members went on to express concerns that the endowment would set a precedent forcing all future student body presidents to reject their stipends.

Congress members also questioned whether SEE would sidestep clauses in the Student Code that make Congress responsible for allocation of funds derived from the Student Activities Fee -- which students pay every semester -- such as the stipend. Young said he understood Congress' responsibilities of allocation. "This isn't an attempt of me to take away from you, this about me giving money to student groups that need it," he said.

Speaker Pro Tem Sandi Chapman said she worries that SEE would be exempt from restrictions put on groups receiving money from Congress,such as the non-discrimination policy.

But Young said he is willing to work with Congress to make sure the program is not exclusionary.

Young said he understands it would be difficult for financially disadvantaged students to deny the stipend and does not think his actions would obligate future candidates also to reject it. "It comes down to now how we tweak the program," he said. "The program is not etched in stone, and we can discuss how to better it, but please don't take my money away."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel 2024 Orientation Guide