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The Daily Tar Heel

Chaney Appoints CAA Staff

Among 20 Cabinet members, Chaney appointed Vice President-select Jon Kanipe, Treasurer-select Chase Choplin and Secretary-elect Vicki Wade, who must go before Student Congress on Tuesday for approval.

These Cabinet officers are the first to be subject to congressional approval in accordance with a bill passed by the 82nd session last week, giving Congress the power to oversee the CAA.

"I have great faith in Reid," said Mark Townsend, speaker of Congress. "I don't have any reservations and expect the appointees to do very well."

Townsend said the process for confirming CAA Cabinet members will be the same as for officers appointed by the student body president.

Each appointee will go before the Student Affairs Committee of Congress on Tuesday to answer questions about their qualifications and experience. If the committee views the candidate favorably, the process is repeated before the full Congress.

"Student Congress' oversight of the CAA is going to help in the long run," said Kanipe, Chaney's campaign manager. "I think it will remove suspicion and help students regain respect for the CAA."

Former CAA President Tee Pruitt's administration was the subject of criticism for two years, as personnel problems divided the Cabinet and bled into February's race for CAA presidency between Chaney and Michael Songer.

Further personnel issues and conflicts of interest resulted in the firing of three Cabinet members and another's resignation the next month.

These questions and allegations of rigged ticket distributions prompted Congress to intervene in the operation of the CAA.

To secure a position on the CAA Cabinet, Chaney's appointees completed a written application and an interview. "The written application was very thorough," Kanipe said. "Everything that was asked was pertinent to the CAA."

Chaney said he was looking for a specific type of applicant who could overcome personal differences and foster teamwork. "We looked for people with experience and a good personality who could work together cohesively in a team environment," he said.

"We also wanted a new group and a clean slate."

Chaney and Kanipe emphasized the importance of distancing the new Cabinet from the old.

"I want the new Cabinet to be separated from the past administration," Chaney said. "I hope that the rest of the student body doesn't identify them with us."

The idea of congressional oversight also was well received within the Cabinet as part of its effort to be more open and honest with students.

"Congress' approval will make us more accountable," Chaney said. "It will help make the CAA a good organization again."

Although the Cabinet has not yet received approval from Congress, members already have begun brainstorming ideas for next year. Chaney said the CAA Cabinet's initial focus will be creating a Homecoming celebration that will attract larger numbers of student participation.

"I was very impressed with our first meeting," Kanipe said. "Everyone has the respect that everyone knows what they are doing."

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