The bill mandates a repeal of the student body vice president’s annual $2,400 stipend, which will be used instead to allocate funds to student organizations.
Members of the student government executive branch have said that if the stipend were eliminated, which is 0.62 percent of Student Congress’ allocations, the position will be less accessible to students who need an income to support themselves through college.
Brittany Best, finance committee chairwoman, said it is her duty to efficiently allocate student fees and best represent her constituents.
“This is the first step in maximizing the output,” Best said.
Leimenstoll, who receives financial aid and has maintained a job for most of his time at UNC, said he would not have run for office without the promise of a stipend.
“Now I don’t think the student body president can be someone who doesn’t have financial security,” Leimenstoll said.
Travis Crayton, chairman of the rules and judiciary committee and sponsor of the bill, said he is excited to have such a broad and diverse coalition support the equality of student organizations throughout campus.
Crayton argued that the position of student body vice president should not be considered any more important than similar leadership positions in student organizations.
“I believe that every student’s decisions and service should be respected equally and are no different than our peers in any other organization. We should be treated equally with our money we pay each semester to finance committee to allocate in a fair way,” he said.
If upheld, the bill will take effect in April 2013, so current Student Body Vice President Rachel Myrick will not be affected by the decision.
District 7 Representative Austin Gilmore, who also serves as president of the UNC Young Democrats, said that Student Congress acted a bit rashly by passing the bill.
“I don’t think this has done anything productive to help relations between Student Congress and the executive branch,” he said.
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