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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress changes fee request system

Cole Simons, speaker of Student Congress, said he has sat down with Graduate and Professional Student Federation President Dylan Russell, Student Body President Bradley Opere and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp to discuss the structure of the split between graduate and undergraduate student government. Simons said the split must go through the student self-governance system.

“It is our belief— and Vice Chancellor Crisp echoes this — that the core basis of student government at UNC, it has been created by students, is voted upon by students and written by students, so even with the proposal put forth, it still needs to be elected by students. So, you’ll see a constitutional proposal within the next couple weeks and, potentially, we’ll have it on the ballot once approved,” Simons said.

Benjamin Albert, finance committee chairperson, went over the Fair Funding Bill, which Congress then voted to pass.

“What I liked about (the bill) was that every group is guaranteed to get heard,” Albert said. “But I thought there were some flaws in it — some ways that it could be better done — namely by spreading out all of the funding hearings over the course of semester rather than piling them all into one weekend, which is what we do now with the annual budget, and it gets pretty brutal.”

He said the bill will provide twice-yearly appropriations in fall and spring. Student organizations will apply for funding from student government and then will be divided into groups based on the size of their request. Each group is divided among a certain number of finance meetings, where their funding will be distributed from a set budget.

“We would hear all the requests and then, at the end of the meeting, all the organization presidents and treasurers would leave, and the finance committee would cut down the preliminary funding to make it fit the budget,” Albert said.

Student Body Treasurer Harry Edwards said Student Congress needed to figure out how to apply the recently passed Student Organization Fee Referendum and how it will affect transaction fees and budget allocations.

“The implications of that we will be working through at the next SFAC meeting on Thursday afternoon, to figure out how that will affect SAFO’s budget in the next fiscal year, how it will affect student government’s contribution to SAFO,” Edwards said.