Following contentious debate surrounding the 25 Percent Compromise and the 40 Percent Plan at last night’s Duke Student Government meeting, senior Daniel Strunk resigned from his position as chief justice of the DSG judiciary.
Strunk is one of the founders of the 40 Percent Plan—a petition to allow students to designate where they would like to allocate 40 percent of their student activities fee each semester. Currently, the approximately $120 fee per semester is allocated to student groups by the Student Organization Funding Committee as members see fit.
After collecting more than 1,000 signatures in support of putting the plan to a vote, Strunk said the plan will be voted on by the entire undergraduate student body during the DSG president, executive vice president and Student Organization Funding Committee chair elections March 4.
Strunk said it was a sense of “judicial ethics” that lead him to decide to resign.
“I have always recused myself from any case that I had an interest in," Strunk said. "Going forth this semester it would be unlikely that there would be any case brought forward that I would be able to sit in on."
He noted the possibility that cases regarding the plan or a DSG presidential candidate would likely come before the justices. He felt there might be a perceived conflict of interest when debating about a candidate that did or did not support the plan.
“I didn’t think it was right for me to continue,” Strunk said.
Although it is not certain who will fill Strunk’s open position, Associate Justice Max Schreiber, a sophomore, will fill the role until the Senate confirms a new chief justice.
DSG President Stefani Jones, a senior, said the process of looking for a new chief justice will begin immediately.
At their meeting Tuesday evening, the DSG senate defeated the 25 Percent Compromise—an alternative to the 40 Percent Plan for allocating student annual activities fees.
Strunk was present at the meeting, and spoke in favor of the 40 Percent Plan or the 25 Percent Compromise under its initial conditions.
“If this gets put on the ballot, there is a very high likelihood that it will pass,” sophomore Jay Sullivan, senator for residential life, said of the 40 Percent Plan at the meeting.
Many members of the senate—including junior Ellie Schaack, vice president for facilities and the environment, and junior Jacob Zionce, vice president for residential life—spoke against the 40 Percent Plan at the meeting.
Schaack said it will be important to educate the student body of the flaws of the plan so they do not vote for it.