ASG meets at Appalachian State University, passes four resolutions

Michael Bragg

Appalachian State University hosted the UNC Association of Student Governments for their 42nd session Nov. 1 and 2.

The ASG is an assembly composed of student delegates from all UNC-system schools that meets monthly to discuss and vote on student advocacy initiatives.

The association voted and passed four senate resolutions despite UNC Chapel Hill holding two student-wide votes each of the past two years to determine whether or not the school would remain a part of the association.
 Chapel Hill has discussed leaving the organization due to their belief that the groups funds, collected from a $1 fee gathered from each student, could be put to better use, according to The Daily Tar Heel.

Chapel Hill’s decision to possibly leave the assembly for good did not affect the meetings direction at all, ASG president Robert Nunnery said.

“We are moving forward as is,” Nunnery said. “Chapel Hill’s decision has been at the back of our mind throughout the meeting, but we decided to host the conference as is, for the benefit of all students.”

Senator from UNC Asheville Ben Judge said that he acknowledges that in the past two years the association has had internal struggles and differences.

“Meetings like this where we’ve passed four resolutions in such a cordial manner is such a nice change of pace,” Judge said.

Resolution 5, which was passed first, stated that ASG supported the Department of Justice’s choice to sue the state of North Carolina, in regard to the recent voter identification law that was passed. The resolution was voted favorably by the association.

“After last month’s meeting, Appalachian, North Carolina State University and Chapel Hill were extremely disappointed,” said Appalachian’s Student Government Association President Dylan Russell.  

At the Oct. 6 meeting of the ASG, Resolution 5 was not voted on due to a failure to suspend rules that required the resolution to be read twice before being voted on, according to an article that appeared in The Appalachian on Oct. 8.

“Sometimes you just have to say enough is enough and that we are thankful that the Justice Department is taking a stance for all North Carolina citizens,” Russell said.

In Resolution 6, the association supported president of the UNC system Thomas Ross’s statement to the Board of Governors that the board should not raise tuition for in-state undergraduate residents, according to the bill.

The association also urged the board to support Ross’ proposal for no tuition increase.
Resolution 7 was tabled and combined with Resolution 8 to encourage civic participation on Election Day, Russell said.

The combined resolution encourages all faculty and administration in the UNC system to consider alternative assignments, relaxed attendance, class cancellation or other actions to allow students to have an increased opportunity to vote on Election Day, according to the bill.

“As a university system we need to be conscious about civic engagement,” Russell said.
Resolution 9 requested that North Carolina legislature reinstate the tax exempt status on food and campus event purchases, according to the bill.

The resolution is in response to the new tax law that will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, which will institute a tax on all student meals, according to appcard.appstate.edu.

Resolution 10  requested that the UNC institutions that currently have plus/minus systems to adopt the additional A-plus grade option with a cumulative GPA cap of 4.0, according to the resolution.

SGA Government Operations Chair Antonio Reid from UNC Pembroke was on the committee that tabled Resolution 10. Reid said the resolution was tabled to allow time to contact each member of the association to see where they stand.

“The resolution will be reintroduced at the next meeting in January,” Reid said.

All four bills that were passed will have a certain level of impact on the students in the UNC school system Nunnery said.

“We definitely were able to cover the status of the group, and to pass resolutions of substance,” Nunnery said. “I was glad to see that there were a broad range of bills that were passed with cons.”

Story: ELIJAH STROUD, Intern News Reporter