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Student Congress holds public forum to improve itself

Speaker Pro-Tempore Chase McConnachie holds a public forum before the Student Congress meeting Tuesday night. 

Speaker Pro-Tempore Chase McConnachie holds a public forum before the Student Congress meeting Tuesday night. 

On Tuesday night, Speaker Pro-Tempore Chase McConnachie led a public forum for Student Congress members and students to discuss what happened during the 2016-17 academic year and how Student Congress could make changes to better itself.

McConnachie stood in front of a whiteboard and listed topics that members brought up — such as discussing the powers of the UNC Board of Elections, making it easier for the student body to understand the new student government split and unifying Student Congress more with the executive branch.

Student Congress member Rachel Augustine said she would like to see more things done to keep the student body aware of what’s happening in Student Congress — especially with the transition to two separate student governments — starting with the website.

“I think the website’s really important because right now, the website’s kind of hard to find things on. It’s not very user friendly,” she said.

Tarik Woods, a Student Congress member, suggested that at least one representative of the executive branch be present at each Student Congress meeting.

“I think that’s something we can look into is strengthening the bond between the executive branch and the legislative branch, just because there has been a lack of communication,” Woods said.

Members also discussed holding a special election before the end of the year to fill open representative seats.

Christopher Canter, a member of Student Congress, said part of the reason for the empty seats in Congress is that they don’t attract enough attention from students.

“If we want to advocate for students, we need to let students know that we’re here,” he said.

Following the public forum, Speaker of Student Congress Cole Simons led the final meeting of this congress. New members will be inaugurated on April 4 in the Great Hall in the Student Union.

During the meeting, changes to the official Instrument used to guide Honor Court were approved, musical theater company Pauper Players received $250 for printing and publicity and a bill on the rules about impeachment was approved.

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