The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

Ballot May Feature Two Referendums

One potential referendum is sponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Federation and will propose adding 75 cents to the student activity fee for child care for UNC students with children. The other asks students to vote in support of urging N.C. legislators to pass campaign finance reform.

The GPSF's proposed resolution is scheduled to go before Student Congress on Tuesday. If passed by Congress, the referendum will appear on the Feb. 12 ballot.

The other possible referendum, which is based on a student petition, has to pass through student government before officially appearing on the ballot.

The 75 cent fee increase in the GPSF's referendum would aid student parents in paying for day care fees. The town of Chapel Hill now offers day care that costs students about $1,000 per month, said Gregory Wahl, chairman of Student Congress' student affairs committee.

Wahl said that if placed on the ballot, the GPSF referendum might not get a majority of the student voters' support because the percentage of student parents on campus is low. But Congress will likely pass the resolution to include the referendum on the ballot, he said. "It has a pretty good chance because it's something that has to do directly with the students."

The resolution for the referendum dealing with campaign finance reform failed to pass Student Congress last fall largely because many members felt there should not be "issues" on the ballot, Wahl said.

This semester, student activists concerned with campaign finance reform pursued another route for getting the referendum on the ballot. The UNC Common Cause/Democracy Matters Student Alliance for Campaign Finance Reform collected enough student signatures by Wednesday to secure the referendum's placement on the ballot.

Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber said Wednesday it will take a few days to verify the signatures on the petition. It will then be sent to Student Body President Justin Young, who must issue an order for the referendum to be placed on the student elections ballot.

Wahl said the difference between the two referendums is that a greater number of students must vote on the one involving a student fee for it to pass.

When a referendum involves a change in student fees, it requires not only a majority of the votes to pass but also requires that at least 25 percent of the student body places a vote. Low voter turnout could prevent the referendum from passing, Wahl said.

Last year, a referendum appeared on the student elections ballot proposing fare-free busing in Chapel Hill, which called for funding by way of an increase in student fees. A majority of students voted in favor of the referendum, and it passed.

Wahl said it is unlikely that another resolution for a referendum will surface before Election Day. "The election in February is so close already that (Student Congress) wouldn't have time to consider much else."

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

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