Four non-Congress members attended the meeting, a higher turnout than Speaker David Joyner expected.
“We generally have high turnout during the spring open house because that is when student body elections are, and that’s when the main Congress elections are,” he said.
“I think that tonight’s turnout was reflective of students interested in filling vacancies. We saw a lot of underclassmen coming out — we saw a lot of first-years and sophomores. Those have been the people contacting me offline about potentially filling those seats.”
Joyner said having vacant seats is not uncommon, especially among graduate and professional students, but vacant seats among undergraduate students are rare.
“As far as undergraduates go, vacancies are a lot more rare, but we’ve had a lot of turnover this year with people going abroad,” he said.
“We’ve had a few people resign their Congress seats so they can get positions in other areas of government ... And I think the largest problem we had was people who didn’t have their housing confirmed when they decided to run, so they ran for election and had to move out of their district and therefore had to decline.”
In addition to sharing information about applying for Student Congress, the forum opened the floor to any concerns.
Members discussed issues like the possible privatization of UNC Student Stores, underage drinking and drunk driving and students moving off-campus.