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Rolph approves North bill only after revisions

Oct. 26, 2000

Changes aim to avoid partisanship



Student body President Jon Rolph approved the Oliver North bill -- however, he only approved the bill after making a few revisions.

'I am happy,' said Cody J. Cazares, sophomore class representative and member of the College Republicans. 'My goal was to get money, and we got it.'

Rolph said he revised the bill to protect the student life fund to make sure that the student government did not appear partisan.

Rolph said that any money made by the College Republicans during North's visit to campus should be used to repay the allocation, even though he thinks the group is not trying to make money on the event.

Rolph also said there were a few places in the breakdown of how the money is being spent where it would be possible for College Republicans to make some money, specifically from the reception before the event.

The other revision to the bill eliminated a clause that makes Student Congress a co-sponsor of the bill. Rolph listed three reasons for this clause being removed.

First, Rolph said the student life fund is the student's money, not the student government's money. Rolph said the final reasons for removing the clause were North's partisanship and how this would affect the public's view of Student Congress and their nonpartisan stance.

'He vetoed it because it was so controversial,' Cazares said. 'I am disappointed because I think we should welcome someone of Oliver North's stature to campus. This veto basically tells Oliver North that student government does not welcome him. Also, it looks like this bill was approved simply to get College Republicans to shut up.'

Kate McGill, a sophomore class representative and College Republican member, said there is not much of a problem with Student Congress not co-sponsoring the bill.

'Student Congress is not supposed to be partisan, and if it seems [Oliver North] is a partisan speaker, then that was OK. But I do think that this is the type of thing that the student life fund should be used for,' she said.

'I think [the revisions] are completely reasonable. He did what he did with the interests of Student Congress and the interests of the club in mind, and I 100 percent support him,' said John Waters, chairman of College Republicans.

Joshua Flynt, national advice chairman for the College Republicans, said he is happy with the bill, but he does not think Rolph has the right to change the wording of it.

Rolph said the student body constitution gives him the power to change parts of a bill without vetoing the entire thing.

The student body constitution states that the student body president has the power to sign or veto a bill, but it later states that Student Congress will have the opportunity to overrule the veto by a two-thirds vote or accept the revisions by a majority.

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