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The Daily Tar Heel

No Easy Solutions to Attendance, Apathy Problems in Congress

I am writing this letter in regards to the editorial entitled "Confederacy of Dunces" which appeared on Nov. 7. In the editorial, the author suggests that the current districting system, which is based on where an undergraduate lives, is the cause of the "rampant" student apathy toward student elections and suggested that changes be made to the districting policy in order to encourage better voter turnout. However, many of the suggestions voiced by the editorialist are simply not feasible.

The bulk of the editorial suggested that Student Congress abandon the current system of districting in favor of a districting based on an undergraduate's major. Student Congress cannot base districts upon undergraduate majors for a myriad of reasons.

Primarily, students tend to change their majors more often than they change their socks. There would be no real way of determining who is what major and when. And what of all those undeclared undergrads out there? Does "undeclared" count as a major? Secondly, there are over 100 undergraduate majors offered at UNC. In the editorial, the author contends that the current 37 congressional seats should be decreased; so then why does he then suggest we institute 120-something as would be the case if Congress went to a major-based districting system.

Another issue raised by the editorialist was one of attendance in Student Congress. Yes, attendance has been a slight problem in Student Congress. Similarly, we also have attendance records of those who were present and those who were absent from Congress meetings. Our Principal Clerk Kari Hanson monitors attendance, and the records are kept on file in the Congress office.

In closing, let me state that Student Congress earnestly wants to fill the few empty congressional seats. We certainly value all student input, as we here in Congress were elected to serve you, our constituents.

Mark Townsend


Student Congress

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