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Adventures in procedure at Student Congress

Full Student Congress dissolved into a committee for approximately 10 minutes in the middle of its meeting Tuesday evening.

The Committee of the Whole is when the body of Congress dissolves into a committee itself.The current congress had never experienced a Committee of the Whole before its meeting on Tuesday.

The Committee of the Whole happened because three appointees to the Board of Elections needed to be approved by committees and there was not enough time to bring them before committees with the upcoming Mr. and Miss UNC elections.

To combat this time crunch and the fact that committees cannot meet on the same night full Congress meets, Congress used the Committee of the Whole procedure.

The three appointees — Elinor Solnick, Maddie Marshall and TJ Bakare — were approved to the Board of Elections after a few questions.

All bills and resolutions on the consent calendar were approved without discussion on the floor.

Speaker David Joyner introduced a concurrent resolution — a resolution that is proposed the same night it is being voted on — to Congress on dissolving the Select Committee on Saunders Hall.

At the last full Congress meeting, Dale Bass, speaker pro tempore of Student Congress, introduced the same bill.

Bass said he misinterpreted the student code and thought since he was the chairperson of the meeting last week when Joyner was absent, he could introduce a concurrent resolution.

This motion was not allowed because the student code states the speaker is the only one who can put a concurrent resolution on the calendar.

“I thought it was just a nuance ... but it says very clearly that the speaker is the individual that can do that,” Bass said.

Samantha Yarborough, ethics committee chairperson, dealt with a first at the meeting as well.

Craig Amasya, finance committee vice chairperson, was absent at Tuesday’s meeting — his fourth absence. This is more than the number of allowed absences, so he needed to write a report on how he plans to make the rest of the meetings.

At the meeting, Yarborough read his report out loud to let Congress members know what to expect if they go over three absences. Congress also had to vote to reinstate his voting privileges. She said Amasya’s absences are excused and he has been good about giving advance notice.

Yarborough said they never want to take away someone’s voting rights.

“We want them here, we want them voting, we want them representing their constituencies,” she said.

Priyesh Krishnan, finance committee chairperson, introduced a bill to clarify language in the student code regarding representation of graduate student appointees in external committees.

He proposed a change in the definition of a graduate appointee to be an appointee who is an enrolled, fee-paying graduate student at the University.

This is a change from a previous definition saying they had to be appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Federation.

“It opens up opportunities for other branches of government to hear graduate students,” Krishnan said.

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