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The Daily Tar Heel

GPSF plans to continue pursuing Two for Two referendum

Who spoke?

Katie Stember, a member of the Future of GPSF committee, talked about the results of the referendum.

“We got 65.97 percent of the vote and we needed 66.6 percent of the vote for it to pass,” Stember said.

“We shouldn’t have needed such a high threshold in the first place. Had we been able to bring the referendum before (Student Congress) and have anyone present our bill to Congress, the threshold potentially could have been lowered to a fairer threshold of 50 plus one percent.”

Stember also said the opposing campaign repeatedly violated election rules.

“Yes we’ve lost two elections, but they’ve both been unfair elections, because we have not had any say in how those elections go, and Student Congress unfortunately controls all of that,” Stember said. “There needs to be some accountability for our opposition who are just doing and saying whatever they want whenever they want.”

Dylan Russell, president of the GPSF, said GPSF did a good job of campaigning for the “Two for Two” referendum.

“We went from 50.2 percent of the vote to 65.97. We are only 35 percent of this school, but we were able to capture two-thirds of the vote,” Russell said.

He said that GPSF had the support of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp and that Crisp said some separation clearly was going to happen.

“Currently $200,000 dollars that graduate professional students are spending isn’t going to graduate professional students, and now it needs to come back to graduate professional students,” Russell said.

Brian Coussens, vice president for internal affairs of GPSF, discussed what went wrong during the election.

“I wrote a 15-page defense against them because they were false,” said Coussens.

Why is this important?

Russell said graduate students make up a portion of the population at UNC and they feel they’re not being represented fairly, but that’s beginning to change.

“I’m excited that graduate professional students now have a greater voice at Carolina,” Russell said.

What’s next?

Stember said GPSF will have to try to have another referendum in the next election.

“The other option that we’re currently pursuing is presenting this to the administration because they have had their hands out of this. They have had no idea of the absurdity of this election process,” Stember said.

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