Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 01:04
There were several items up for discussion at the final Student Senate session of the academic year Wednesday. Student Senate approved two bylaw revisions, assigned two students-at-large to a hiring committee and passed the final round of conference grant allocations. However, Senate members spent a majority of the session discussing a resolution to condemn The Mirror for recently publishing a column the author of the resolution alleged personally attacks against Election Commissioner William Schiffelbein.
Student Affairs bylaws proposal
A proposal to revise the Student Affairs bylaws entered its third reading. The revision assigns responsibility for maintaining and updating the new McKee Hall breezeway chalkboard to the director of Student Affairs. The language of the revision was amended in previous readings of the proposal. Senate members also determined maintenance of the chalkboard will comply with free speech. The revision passed unanimously.
Proposal to revise election code bylaws
Senate then moved into the third reading of a proposal to revise election code bylaws. The revision is in regards to the Student
Senate election petition.
Every prospective candidate in a Student Senate election is required to attain 100 student signatures to qualify. The revision requires students to include a UNC assigned Personal Digital Identification. A student’s PDID is the name attached to their Bear mail address. The proposal passed unanimously.
Students approved for special hiring committee
Senate then approved two students-at-large for a special hiring committee, which will determine next year’s Student Rights Advocate and Student Senate Administrative Assistant. One of those two students, Emilio Henry was present, while Stephanie Brickles could not attend. Student Senate is currently accepting applications for both positions.
Conference Grant Allocations approved
The final round of Conference Grant Allocations was approved unanimously. Senate also approved a fund allocation of $1,500 to UNC Bodega, a new online marketplace exclusive to the UNC campus. The university agreed to split funding for UNC Bodega with Student Senate half-and-half, each will contribute $1,500.
Resolution to condemn The Mirror
The session heated up when Administrative Assistant Ben Schiffelbein introduced a resolution to condemn The Mirror and call for the university to pull its funding for its recent publication of a column aimed at Election Commissioner William Schiffelbein.
Ben Schiffelbein likened the column to a personal attack outside the boundaries of ethical journalism. Benjamin Welch, former editor-in-chief of The Mirror and author of the column, attended the session to defend his motives in his writing.
The column, which ran in Wednesday’s issue of The Mirror, addressed the recent Student Senate election. The column noted the abysmal turnout in the election from candidates and voters alike. Welch holds William Schiffelbein responsible for the haphazard election.
Welch also went as far as to suggest in the column William Schiffelbein may have compromised elections to ensure the victory of several friends vying for Senate positions.
Student Rights Advocate Samantha Fox received support from several Senate members when she argued that journalists have the right to voice an opinion, especially against public officials.
“I have a hard time as a public official condemning an editorial,” said Gerard Heise, College of Performing and Visual Arts representative.
The inevitable freedom of the press prevailed and following brief discussion, the resolution was rejected unanimously.