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UNC elects Zack De La Rosa as new Student Congress speaker

Photo: De La Rosa to be speaker (Brooke Hefner)

The first meeting of the 93rd session of Student Congress voted in a new leader who promised to further revise the Student Code and improve efficiency.

Zach De La Rosa, who formerly served as speaker pro tempore, ran unopposed to lead Student Congress as speaker.

De La Rosa said he would like to remove the negative rhetoric between representatives and replace it with the understanding that he says the body needs to work together.

“I could talk to you for hours about things we could change around here,” he said.

The race for speaker pro tempore, a position students often serve in on the way to becoming speaker, was more contested.

Kristen Johnson won the race, 18-13, against Jared Simmons. Both ran on a platform that promoted more communication between representatives and their constituents.

One other commonality in the meeting was a desire to reform Title V of the Student Code, which deals with the appropriation of money to student groups.

Several members said the section is complicated and makes it difficult for student organizations to gain funding.

Evan Ross, who was re-elected as the rules and judiciary chairman, said his committee will join with the finance and oversight committees in aiming to revise Title V.

Simmons was elected as finance committee chairman after running against Adam Horowitz. Both members served on the finance committee in the previous session.

Horowitz later won the race for chairman of the newly formed oversight committee.

The oversight committee is a new feature of Student Congress that will track external appointments and make sure the funds appropriated to student organizations are spent appropriately.

Horowitz was elected over Marc Seelinger by a vote of 22-9. Horowitz said he would work long hours to ensure that student organizations spend fees correctly and appointments do their jobs.

“I know how the system works and how to keep track of what’s going on,” he said.

Both candidates discussed their opinions on issues ranging from the conglomerated student activities fee to the Association of Student Governments, which they criticized as ineffective.

Seelinger later proposed a resolution expressing concern over the Department of Public Safety’s response to the armed robbery at Morrison Residence Hall on Monday.

Some expressed concern about the resolution’s wording, which originally seemed to “condemn” the University’s response.

“I think it’s possible there is information we do not yet have,” said Lisa Heimbach, ethics committee chairwoman.

“I feel anxious in making a major declaration to condemn them.”

The resolution failed by a vote of 11-15.

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