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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Student Code to undergo a rewrite

Student Congress speaker Zach De La Rosa plans to revise the Student Code. He looks over it with Student Body Vice President Zealan Hoover (in Hoover's office).

Speaker of Student Congress Zach De La Rosa is championing an effort to rewrite the entire Student Code during the course of this school year.

“It does not take a rocket scientist to know that there are some major problems that need to be fixed,” De La Rosa said.

The Student Code is more than 160 pages long, and Congress members said parts of the policies are contradictory.

Reform of the code was triggered after last year’s controversial student elections.

“There were loopholes in the code,” oversight committee chairman Adam Horowitz said, referring to the controversy that stemmed after then-Student Body Secretary Ian Lee ran for student body president. Lee is now a member of The Daily Tar Heel’s editorial board.

The spring controversy surfaced after some argued the Student Code forbade Lee from running for student body president while he held the secretary position.

“This was really the first time we saw a lot of lawsuits due to Congress’ failures,” Horowitz said. “Most of the people in Congress had never seen the Student Supreme Court being used,” he said.

De La Rosa said Student Congress plans to condense confusing portions of the Student Code to make it more accessible to its members. This mission will require cooperation of Congress members, he said.

“Grand compromise is needed,” he said. “And we are going to find that because you have people who care and people who are reasonable.”

De La Rosa said he was sure the Student Code overhaul will be finished within one year.

Some parts of the Code, such as some election laws, were rewritten last year. Even these parts will be revised, De La Rosa said.

In the past, Student Congress has amended the Student Code without considering pre-existing policies, De La Rosa said. Over time, these changes led to confusion and inconsistency in the body’s policy, he added.

Student Body Vice President Zealan Hoover said the rewrite will focus on the layout of the Student Code rather than actual policy issues.

“There have been so many amendments made over the years that they conflict with each other,” Hoover said.

De La Rosa said the effort is long overdue, and Student Congress plans to enlist the help of the executive branch of student government throughout the process.

Denise Mitchell, a senior psychology major, said she did not like last year’s bickering.

“I really did not like the process last year,” she said. “There were a lot of people going back and forth but no clarity of ideas.”

De La Rosa said the effort will unite members of Student Congress.
“People in Congress who do not like each other will be working together.”

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