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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress rejects Dakota Williams as BOE chairman

Student Congress’ final meeting of the academic year was burdened with the task of external appointments.

All were approved — except one.

Without debate, the body denied former Student Congress speaker and student body treasurer Dakota Williams the appointment for Board of Elections chairman in a vote that was not immediately upsetting, he said.

“The nice thing about not being (Board of Elections chairman) is that there is no moral obligation keeping me from suing anyone I want,” he said.

The Student Code requires a two-thirds vote to approve any Board of Elections chairman appointee who has not served at least one year on the board. The 14-13 vote did not meet that requirement.

Andrew Phillips, chairman of the board for the past year, also did not serve on the board prior to being appointed.

Williams said he believed the votes had been decided before he arrived to the meeting.

“It was pretty apparent that everyone had made up their minds before anyone said anything,” Williams said.

Williams said the lack of debate was convenient for members who were already biased.

“I think that this provided a convenient out for people who would have otherwise spoken against me,” he said.

“I know that I’m a polarizing person. It comes with the territory.”

Student Body President Mary Cooper was present at the meeting and said Williams would defend the Student Code in controversial elections.

But Williams said there was more to be done on campus that doesn’t deal with the Student Code.

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized more and more that the Code is just irrelevant,” Williams said.

“There are more productive and more effective ways to do good things for people.”

Williams said he has tried to help students, and that he was not very upset by Student Congress’ decision to deny him the appointment.

“I don’t really care. I’ve done what I can to help students and several forces have made it abundantly clear they don’t want my help and that’s fine,” Williams said.

Student Body Vice President Zealan Hoover said the Cooper administration will likely re-open applications for the position in the fall.

“I do believe that since he was Mary Cooper’s appointment, it should have been debated in Student Congress,” Hoover said.

Among the other external appointments, all honor court appointees were approved and Kevin Kimball, who lost his race for Association of Student Governments president to incumbent Atul Bhula, was appointed as a delegate to ASG.

The body also passed representative Adam Horowitz’s bill that gives Student Congress the power to review student fees.

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The bill will align the body with the student fee audit committee in order to give Student Congress more power in reviewing student fees.

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