The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday June 2nd

Revised Version of CAA Bill Signed Into Law

Congress members, whose terms end today along with Matthews', met in a special session Monday to vote on the bill recently revised by Matthews and Sarah Marks, the chairwoman of Congress' Rules and Judiciary Committee and the original author of the bill.

The bill passed with a 16-2 vote, with graduate student Gregory Wahl and sophomore Carey Richter dissenting.

Congress voted 17-1 last week to pass the bill in its original form, but Matthews refused to sign it because of logistical concerns.

The revised bill gives Congress the power to approve the CAA president's officer appointments -- starting with CAA President-elect Reid Chaney's vice president, secretary and treasurer. "I feel in the interest of beginning this more open system of accountability (within the CAA) it might as well start now," Matthews said. Matthews, Bell and Marks met Friday to discuss changes needed to avoid a presidential veto. "I wrote the original bill," Marks told Congress on Monday. "This one comes from me also and comes with my full support."

The bill also mandates that the starting numbers for ticket distributions be chosen in public; that bracelet number ranges be published; and that public records be kept of every ticket given to CAA Cabinet members, Carolina Fever members or any other student officials or organizations.

Matthews also presented Congress with a Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Athletics and the student body. Signed by Matthews, CAA President Tee Pruitt and Director of Athletics Dick Baddour, it outlines the relationship between the involved parties and the ticket distribution policy.

The Ticket Office manager now will be required to submit a report to the athletic director with the date of the distribution, the list of games to which tickets were distributed, the range of bracelets distributed, any numbers drawn in lotteries, and the amount of tickets given to the CAA and to Fever. The report will be available from the Ticket Office and can be compared to the list submitted by the CAA.

The agreement also requires that any changes to the ticket distribution policy must be approved by the athletic director, the CAA president, the student body president and the speaker of Congress.

Matthews said the bill and agreement package will help repair the reputation of the CAA. "Cracking this thing open to public scrutiny is going to address a lot of problems," he said.

Richter and Wahl both said they supported the bill's passage but voted against it for reasons of principle.

Richter said she disagreed with the requirement that Chaney's officers be approved by Congress, and Wahl said Matthews should not have been allowed to threaten Congress with a veto in order to pass an altered version of the bill. "I think it's bad that we end with something so emphatic as a 17-1 vote and have a lame-duck student body president come in and make changes," he said.

"(I voted no) because I knew there would be no way it wouldn't pass."

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