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The Daily Tar Heel

Shorten campaign period: Congress should pass a bill that would shorten the campus election cycle and tighten the money limits

Student body elections last too long and use too much money. Student Congress members should pass a bill that would change this.

Congress’s rules and judiciary committee reported favorably last Tuesday on a bill that Student Body President Jasmin Jones introduced to Congress. It will be considered by the full Congress on Tuesday.

Jones said this was a compromise bill. Last week she indicated she would veto a bill that would end the system of runoff elections when no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a previous attempt to shorten the election season.

The new bill will decrease the amount of money candidates are allowed to spend on elections. For example, it reduces the amount student body president candidates can spend from $400 to $300.

The bill will also decrease the election season from 28 to 21 days.

Money is tight, and passing this bill is a logical move.

In the February elections, students rejected a referendum to raise the student activities fee by $6.

Congress now hopes to raise the fee, which funds student groups, by $3.

Supporters of the increase have cited a higher demand on the fee money from student groups and a lack of a substantial increase in the fee for several years.

If Congress and other student government officials want support from students for raising the fee, they need to show that they’re cutting back and that the increase is a necessity.

This bill is a step in that direction. Elections are important. But that doesn’t mean they need to drain student resources.

This bill will make candidates cut back, and they won’t have as long to convince students that they’re better than each other.

But 21 days is more than enough of a campaign period for a student election, and $300 for a student body president campaign of 21 days amounts to about $14 a day. Candidates will survive.

Passing this bill would demonstrate that Congress and the executive branch are committed to using students’ money wisely. As they should be.

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