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The Daily Tar Heel

Override and amend: Pushing to properly amend the Student Code would have been better than an outright veto

We endorsed Speaker Deanna Santoro’s Student Congress redistricting bill earlier this month. In spite of Student Body President Hogan Medlin’s official veto, this bill still deserves to pass.

Student Congress should vote tonight to override Medlin.

Hogan says he vetoed the bill because parts of it conflicted with the current Student Code by not allocating proportional representation to off-campus students and reserving a seat specifically for an incoming freshman in the fall.

While Hogan’s concerns are valid, his decision to veto the bill was unwise.

The redistricting bill is still a good bill. If implemented it would go a long way toward addressing the problems that Congress has had with recruiting and retaining candidates, especially from freshman dorms. And it would give freshmen, who have traditionally been left out of he process, a voice in Congress.

Speaker Santoro said Congress plans to override Hogan’s veto and that had he asked to have the Code amended, Congress would have obliged.

Hogan’s veto is an obvious failure of communication on his part. There was plenty of opportunity, but it doesn’t seem like he was sufficiently involved during the bill’s progress through Congress. Hogan’s litany of concerns were not expressed until after the fact, when he issued his veto.

The impression that this veto leaves is that the executive branch worked against, rather than with, Congress to get a bill it was happier with.

On principle, Student Congress should act quickly to override Hogan’s veto.

If it does, it should move promptly to amend the proper sections of the Code to ensure that there is no conflict between it and the bill’s provisions.

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