student government

Storrow 2013? UNC SBP Hopefuls Struggle with Town Relations

On Monday night, the UNC Young Democrats hosted one of the first candidate forums for this year’s crop of Student Body President hopefuls.

As is somewhat customary at the Young Democrats forums, one of the questions asked was about local politics here in Chapel Hill. All four candidates responded to that question by saying they supported Chapel Hill Town Councilmember Lee Storrow in 2013.

The problem with that answer is that Storrow wasn’t up for re-election in 2013. Elected in 2011, his term will be up in 2015.

It’s troubling that none of the SBP hopefuls knew that, and also troubling that they didn’t know the names of any of the other seven Town Council members. How can an SBP be an effective advocate for students without a basic understanding of the Town of Chapel Hill’s government?

Student forum for Town Council candidates

UNC Student Government and Campus Y host candidate forum: What do candidates really think about town-and-gown relations?

As a student of social justice at Chapel Hill’s largest employer, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I am acutely aware of the impact my education plays on the economic and demographic make-up of our community. With the UNC Student Government and Campus Y (the center for social justice on campus) coming together on November 3, 2011, to host a candidate forum, I had hoped students would finally have their most salient concerns heard by potential council representatives. Even more, I was optimistic that students without cars or a thorough understanding of the intricate bus system would finally gain access to the campaign process, which has built to a climax over the past weeks.

After weeks of messy controversy, UNC students choose their next Student Body President today.

Do Student Body Elections Matter?

Students are voting today in this year's student body elections. You can't walk through the main part of campus without being assailed by a horde of shouting, sign-bearing, leaflet-handing campaign workers. But, if you don't spend time on campus or read the DTH, you probably had no idea. While some local elected officials have certainly benefitted from their experience with student government (I'm looking to you, Mark Kleinschmidt), one might wonder just how much influence the student body president and congress has on the larger issues affecting the town and university.  I worked my butt off for Tom Jensen's unsuccessful 2005 student body president campaign, which was the first and only time I recall sitting council members weighing in (Tom was endorsed by Bill Strom and Sally Greene).  Other than that, do town folk care?

Below are excerpts from each Student Body President candidate's town relations platform...

J.J. Raynor:


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