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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Government Teaches `Life Skills'

The event, organized by former Academic Affairs Chairwoman Amanda Harrell, was held in Bingham Hall and featured Carol Badgett, an attorney with Student Legal Services.

Harrell said this lecture, the first in a series of Life Skills Seminars slated for this semester, was the idea of former Student Body President Brad Matthews.

"(Matthews) wanted to have these seminars set up so that students can get free advice about stuff they don't learn about in class," she said.

Only one other topic has been determined at present, which will be "Networking and Negotiating Salary."

Badgett began the evening by speaking about the issues surrounding credit cards, advising students to be wary when choosing a credit card service.

"The most important thing to remember is to borrow wisely," she said.

Badgett explained that students get into trouble with credit card companies when they charge an item and then pay the minimum amount each time the bill comes.

Badgett said what students don't realize is that interest rates often increase after a certain period of time.

She explained that if someone were to charge $2,000 to a credit card -- about the price of a new computer -- and proceed to pay off the balance by paying only the minimum amount required each time the bill comes, it would take the person 11 years to pay off the debt, and the person would wind up paying nearly twice the original cost.

Badgett then spoke on the topic of dealing with landlords and signing leases, focusing on the rights one has in these agreements.

She talked about several warranties implicit in lease contracts such as the "Warranty of Habitability."

"You have the right for your landlord to perform any and all repairs after you've submitted a written notice," Badgett said.

She said landlords are required to repair all faulty appliances and electrical facilities "within a reasonable time," which she said is determined by the tenant.

Junior Liz Gardner of Hope Mills said she attended the event because issues such as the ones discussed are important to people trying to establish themselves as adults.

Gardner said she hoped to find answers to questions about how to establish good credit and deal with bad credit.

"(Badgett) brought up issues that I didn't realize were so important."

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