The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 13th

5 highlights of the new Student Constitution

The new Student Constitution, which was created by student government and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, will go into effect after student government's inauguration Tuesday — nearly two months after students voted to split student government into separate undergraduate and graduate bodies.

Presidents

Under the new constitution there will be an undergraduate student government president, a GPSF president and a student body president. 

For the 2017-18 year, Elizabeth Adkins will serve as the USG president and the student body president.

"A candidate for Student Body President shall also be able to stand as a candidate for Undergraduate Student Government President or Graduate and Professional Student Federation President," the constitution says. 

The student body president will sit on the Board of Trustees and will serve as the non-voting chairperson of the Joint Governance Council — keep reading to see what that is. They are also required to attend meetings of both the USG Senate and the GPSF Senate. 

The constitution requires the student body president to publish monthly reports and gain approval from both governing bodies before making remarks to the Board of Trustees. Their updates to the board must include at least a third about graduate and professional students. 

Joint Governance Council

The constitution outlines a new, third body in student government — the Joint Governance Council. The council, which will consist of undergraduates and graduates, will be led by the Student Body President and will hear reports from the Undergraduate Student Government and GPSF.

The council will only hear joint issues — those that deal with both graduates and undergraduates. 

Legislative branches

The GPSF Senate will be made up of graduate and professional students and will deal with issues that only pertain to them. The USG Senate will be the same for undergraduates.

USG Senate members will be elected and serve terms the same way they currently do for Student Congress.

"The elected membership of the Undergraduate Senate shall consist of a number of undergraduate students that is no less than one-tenth (1/10) of one (1) percent of the undergraduate population," the constitution says. 

Money

Each senate will be paid for by fees from that senate's student population.

"The USG Senate and the GPSF Senate shall proportionally share the cost to Student Government of SAFO operations, as determined by the Student Fee Audit Committee. The USG Senate shall contribute two-thirds (2/3) of the cost and the GPSF Senate shall contribute one-third (1/3) of the cost," the constitution says.

UNC Supreme Court and Board of Elections

The Supreme Court will be composed of three undergraduate and two graduate or professional students. Additionally, the Board of Elections will be composed of three undergraduate and three graduate or professional students.

“Once all members of the Board of Elections have been approved, they shall elect amongst themselves a chairperson,” the Constitution said.

For future student body president elections, the threshold for signatures to be put on the ballot will be lowered from 1,250 to 1,000. This number will have to include 250 signatures from the constituency the candidate isn’t a part of.

university@dailytarheel.com

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