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Deanna Santoro promoted in Association of Student Governments

Will continue as congress speaker

Speaker of Student Congress Deanna Santoro (left) was promoted to associate vice president of the legislative and public affairs committee.
Speaker of Student Congress Deanna Santoro (left) was promoted to associate vice president of the legislative and public affairs committee.

Deanna Santoro, the speaker of Student Congress, was promoted to the role of associate vice president of the Association of Student Governments’ legislative and public affairs committee in late December.

The new position places Santoro in the executive branch of ASG, giving her more legitimacy with the General Assembly but taking away the vote she had as a delegate.

“We communicate directly with the general administration,” Santoro said.

Santoro, who formerly served as a chairwoman of the committee, applied for the open position in early December.

She said the new position will offer her a leading role in legislative priorities within the ASG.

Santoro said she received recommendations from both Student Body President Hogan Medlin and Jonathan Curtis, associate director for student activities and student organizations.

“I consulted with Hogan and we made sure before I even applied that it would be something good for our university,” she said.

Santoro said that filling this leadership position allows students to be fully represented and allows for another UNC student to fill her former role as a delegate.

“It’s really not a promotion. It’s just a transfer from one branch to another,” said Dakota Williams, the senior vice president of ASG who also serves as student body treasurer within the executive branch of UNC. “She’s working for the ASG as opposed to representing UNC.”

Santoro said she will continue as speaker of congress and will focus in the coming semester on fulfilling her goal of systematically improving the Student Code, especially titles IV, V and VII.

Zach De La Rosa, chairman of the rules and judiciary committee of congress, said the promotion will not interfere with Santoro’s duties as speaker.

“In my opinion there’s no conflict of interest,” he said. “I don’t think she thinks there’s a conflict of interest. I don’t think there will be a problem.”

De La Rosa added that Santoro will bring a record of financial oversight to her new role in ASG, an organization that is entirely funded by a $1 fee for all UNC-system students.

“This works in UNC’s advantage,” he said. “One of the problems that emerged this year or last year was lowering salaries. She and Rick (Ingram) voted to lower them. I expect them to continue looking after our money.”

Student Congress member Lee Storrow said the relationship between UNC and ASG has grown slightly tenuous in the past two years, with the UNC delegates going so far as to consider withdrawing its participation. He added that she will bring passion and professionalism to her new role.

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