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The Daily Tar Heel

Without representation: When too few students run for StudentCongress we can't complain

Student Congress needs to be a representative body. It needs to be composed of people that are passionate about making student government work.

But on Tuesday's ballot three districts had no Student Congress candidates.

In addition three more districts had fewer candidates on the ballot than seats.

This is a serious blow to the legitimacy of student government.

A prospective candidate only needs 20 signatures to be placed on the ballot.

It is disappointing to think that at a school of our size there aren't enough students motivated enough to run.

Although all Congress seats were eventually filled by write-in candidates student government functions much better when seats are contended for.

But merely filling the seats is not the point.

Next year the University is facing significant budget cuts.

And students will need all branches of their government to be forceful advocates for their interests.

Yet by leaving so many empty seats we send the message to our administration that we are apathetic.

Furthermore Student Congress allocates funds for campus organizations.

Money that comes from student fees.

Without representatives we cannot legitimately complain about how our student fees are being spent when too few of us choose to sit on Congress.

What we need is a renewed sense of responsibility.

By leaving so many seats empty students are undermining the legitimacy of Student Congress and its ability to represent them in the coming term.

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