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The Daily Tar Heel

February Senate meeting fails to fill speaker pro tempore vacancy

unc student senate

Junior Senator Tanner Henson (bottom left) of the Undergraduate Senate reacts to Senator Sosa Evbuomwan's response to events that occurred at the last meeting Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 in Gardner Hall. 

The full Undergraduate Senate met Tuesday to discuss new appointments to various positions in the Student Body Supreme Court, UNC Board of Elections and full Senate. Here’s what you need to know:

A new UNC Supreme Court justice was appointed; the court is now complete.

With student body president campaigning in full swing, the Senate looked to appoint a new justice as quickly as possible to replace a justice who recently resigned. 

Luke Cullifer, the director of state and external affairs, said they do not want to repeat the election complications of 2017.

“I don’t know how many of you were privileged enough to be here in 2016 — I guess that’d be the election of 2017 — when we had injunction after injunction and court ruling after court ruling, and it delayed our elections by quite a lot,” he said. “I can’t imagine how much worse that would be made by a hung Supreme Court.”

After being passed without prejudice during a last-minute meeting of the Rules and Judiciary Committee, junior Chase Jarvis was approved by the full Senate later that night and by the Joint Governance Council Wednesday.

Jarvis, who has never been involved with Student Government, said he is qualified for the role because he has used the Student Constitution, Student Code and Joint Code to assist with Honor Court cases as president of his fraternity, Delta Upsilon.

“I just want to make it clear that I’m prepared, dedicated and I’ll make the most of this opportunity that’s been presented to me," Jarvis said. 

A new member has been appointed to the Board of Elections.

In addition to appointing Jarvis, junior Tyger McSwain was also appointed to the Board of Elections after being approved by the full Senate and the Joint Governance Council.

McSwain serves on the Black Student Movement's political action committee and previously litigated cases as a member of the student body attorney general’s staff and on Alton Peques' campaign for Mr. UNC in 2018. 

“I just think that my talent and dedication which I’ve portrayed on the attorney general’s staff shows that I can do this job here,” McSwain said. “You all know the work on the attorney general’s staff can be very tedious — you spend hours upon hours looking over cases and I think that can translate to this position.”

McSwain said he would like to change the way the Board of Elections communicates with the Undergraduate Senate.

“Things get lost on GroupMe, Slack, all the time,” McSwain said. “I know you look at it but you’re like, ‘Oh, I’ll check it later,’ and then it kind of gets lost, so I think even something like having a face-to-face conversation could be the most effective way.”

The vote to appoint a new speaker pro tempore was postponed.

Although the full Senate was set to elect a new speaker pro tempore at the last full Senate meeting on Jan. 22, the vote was postponed until Tuesday. The Senate decided to again postpone the vote until the next meeting on Feb. 19.

After former Speaker of the Senate Kennith Echeverria stepped down in January to go abroad, then-speaker Pro Tempore Stephen Wright assumed the position of speaker of the Senate. Until the vote is held, the position of speaker pro tempore is vacant.


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