The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 25th

Congress Changes Nominee Process, Code

Congress Speaker Tony Larson, who proposed the bill, said Wednesday that other groups might have paid members to serve and represent their issues without his or previous speakers' knowledge.

"I don't know how widespread the practice was, but I know it has happened, and I thought it should be stopped," Larson said. "People in Congress should not be interested in a paycheck but in serving the student body."

Originally, the bill was more encompassing, saying Congress members could not receive any stipends from student organizations.

But representatives from the Graduate and Professional Students Federation proposed an amendment changing that language so that they can still be paid for their non-congressional duties.

Larson also proposed a similar bill that would prohibit groups from compensating their members for serving on the executive branch of student government.

But this was returned to the Rules and Judiciary Committee for more discussion because it involved complex issues with some groups, such as the Residence Hall Association.

Congress passed one other Student Code amendment, this one proposed by Student Body President Jen Daum.

The proposal established the student body vice president as the chairman of the Student Academic Advisory Board, giving the group legitimacy by including it in the code, members said.

Other business Tuesday included the approval of the entire Freshman Focus Council, which advises the chancellor on issues pertaining to freshmen. Neepa Mehta, a new co-coordinator of the FFC, said she was confident that they would be approved but she still had a small feeling of uncertainty.

"I'm relieved and excited because we have so many plans that we didn't know if we would be able to do," Mehta said Wednesday.

Nominees for the Student Legal Services board of directors, Student Academic Advising Board and the Student Library Advisory Board also were approved at the meeting, despite their absence. The tradition of having all nominees appear before full Congress started three years ago, Larson said, but it is not required by the Student Code.

"It was becoming evident that in committee, good discussions were occurring and good questions were being asked," Larson said. "Then at full Congress, the people sat around for an hour and we would approve them without asking anything."

Information about the nominees is available online for Congress members to review after the Student Affairs Committee meets so members who have questions can request the nominees' attendance.

Congress concluded the meeting by passing resolutions commending the N.C. General Assembly for "shielding the University system during the budget debate" and another one honoring the life and memory of Gladys Coates, co-founder of the Institute of Government.

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

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