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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress confronts money, energy questions

Despite the daunting list of bills presented at Tuesday’s Student Congress meeting, there was very little debate among representatives.

The Rules and Judiciary Committee reported the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee's bill unfavorably last week — meaning they recommended that full congress should not pass it. The bill was brought to full congress with an amendment coauthored by John Anagnost, chairman of Rules and Judiciary, and David Joyner, the speaker of Student Congress.

The amendment to the student code, with respect to the energy committee, included letting the co-chairpersons have more say in the members of the committee rather than having the Executive Branch appoint members that have little knowledge of or experience with the subject.

Anagnost said sometimes the technical energy aspects were pushed aside when the members appointed were unfamiliar with the committee.

“We were all in agreement that the code should reflect the new structure of the governing board,” he said.

Priyesh Krishnan, chairman of the Finance Committee, had some reservations about whether or not the committee members appointed by the student body president would report to Congress if the committee received its funding from student congress.

However, renewable energy co-chairman Charlie Egan said the committee gets its funding from student fees, which result in about $200,000 each year, approximately four dollars per student.

Another bill that was brought to full Student Congress was introduced by Krishnan. It involved changes to Title V, the financial regulations. It was reported favorably last week by both the Oversight and Advocacy and Rules and Judiciary committees.

Most of the changes made regarded wording of the bill, but larger changes to Title V included capping funding at 80 percent for students' international flights and separating different money sources for student groups.

He said in some cases, the money a group has received from Student Congress has ended up in the group’s personal account or vice versa. Krishnan said he wanted to have a way to leave a paper trail to fix those cases.

All bills presented to Student Congress were passed without objection or unanimously, if a role call was needed.


- Student Body President Houston Summers said he and others are working on creating a fund for undocumented students as well as trying to get National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities plots on campus in the near future.

- Undergraduate Student Attorney General Ina Kosova said she wants to create working groups to address diversity in the judicial branch.

“We’ve reached out to different groups on campus that have not traditionally been involved (in Honor Court),” she said.

These groups include Carolina Covenant and Carolina Hispanic Association.

Honor Court Chairman Will Almquist said one thing Honor Court is doing this year to foster more faculty involvement in the process is having faculty sit in on hearings.

- Cole Simons, chairman of the Oversight and Advocacy Committee, said he is in the process of creating four committees that will cater to student needs. These include health, academics, campus climate and campus development and will help facilitate conversations and change among students.

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