The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 7th

Congress decoded: Congress must provide an updated Student Code to organizations.

Due to a reporting error, the original version of this editorial incorrectly states that Speaker Zach De La Rosa could have appointed himself clerk. Only general members of Student Congress are eligible to serve in this position.

Student Congress has kept itself busy lately, expanding its power and taking on new responsibilities — but you wouldn’t know it from reading the Student Code. Due to lax leadership and unfilled positions, students have been kept out of the loop on important changes to what is required of their organizations. If this is not rectified shortly, Student Congress could find itself in a lengthy legal battle as student organizations run into problems related to funding and approval.

Rising from a desire to make Student Code updates more timely and improve the quality of the updates, Student Congress stripped the student body secretary of the responsibility and delegated the task to the clerk in March. However, Student Congress has since failed on all counts to deliver upon these promises, starting with its decision to adjourn the 92nd session without an updated Student Code or legislative record. Speaker Zach De La Rosa is just now beginning to take the situation seriously.

The Student Code governs the actions of all student organizations at UNC and outlines the procedures required for organizational recognition, funding and external appointment confirmations. For this reason, it is important that student organizations have access to an accurate and up-to-date version to ensure compliance.

If student organizations do not have this access, Student Congress opens itself to possible lawsuits in the Student Supreme Court.

Despite this liability, De La Rosa claims that he had no legal method of updating the code until September because the incoming clerks had yet to be confirmed. With massive changes not reflected in the current Student Code, including the formation of a congressional oversight committee, this is a thin excuse for inaction and factually inaccurate.

De La Rosa could have named himself clerk during the summer and updated the Student Code, but no action was taken. Instead, the student body is left with a code that has been left unaltered since Feb. 28 and no record of congressional action since January of 2010.

To call this a record of failure would be wrong. After all, how can you judge what is not there?

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