The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 5th

Committee votes to amend

More signatures could be required of SBP candidates

Student congress’ rules and judiciary committee passed a bill Tuesday which, if passed through student congress, would overhaul campus elections law.

Several amendments to Title VI, the portion of the Student Code pertaining to student government elections, were discussed in an attempt to clarify and streamline election rules.

One approved measure would require more signatures for student body president candidates who wish to appear on election ballots.

It proposes increasing the number of signatures required to run for student body president from 1,000 to 1,500.

Another amendment passed through the committee would raise the number of signatures required to run for student congress from 20 to 35. The amendments will be consolidated into a full bill and passed on to student congress for a vote.

Student Body President Hogan Medlin was one of the 30 people in attendance. He discussed the difficulty that the increase would create for potential candidates.

“It will be even harder this year,” he said. “I value the idea of having qualified, fewer candidates, but I also am not sure that we should really keep anyone from running for student body president.”

Last year was the first year that candidates for student body president were required to obtain 1,000 signatures. Medlin said he thinks it is too soon to increase this number again. He was the only candidate who collected more than 1,500 signatures in the first stage of last year’s election.

The increase passed 7-3.

The amendment was proposed by Evan Ross, vice chairman of the committee. He said it would cut down the field, decreasing the chance of a run-off election and save student congress the money they are required to provide candidates.

Zachary De La Rosa, chairman of the committee, said the 1,500 signatures will likely drop when the amendment is taken to student congress.

The change of the number of signatures needed for congress candidates was met with mixed feelings.

Several amendments and separate bills were proposed but were not voted on as of 10 p.m.

Medlin proposed a bill that would effectively change the phrase “senior members” to exclude executive branch committee chairmen.

This would allow two committee vice chairmen — Jagir Patel and Taylor Mercado — to continue involvement in the Honor Court.

The Student Code prohibits “senior members” of the executive branch from participating in the Honor Court.

Ross also proposed lowering the amount of student fees that each student body candidate gets for a campaign from $300 to $250.

A bill that would effectively redistrict seats for student congress was tabled.

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