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The Daily Tar Heel

N.C. State Senate to Fund Day at Capitol

The Student Day at the Capitol budget totals $7,000 -- the remaining funding will come from the UNC Association of Student Governments, which is sponsoring the event along with UNC-Pembroke. UNC-P contributed $50 to the event.

The funds will cover an ice cream social for students and legislators and a rally.

The ASG organized Student Day at the Capitol to lobby state legislators on three issues -- a student vote on the UNC Board of Governors, increased funding for the need-based financial aid program and a 6-percent salary raise for UNC-system faculty.

"N.C. State is the largest university in the state, and we have access to a lot more money," said Natalie Duggins, vice president of public affairs of the N.C. State Student Senate.

Duggins said there were a few questions about how the money was going to be spent specifically, but all N.C. State senators agreed on the proposal.

She also said she wasn't concerned that other universities have not contributed any funding to the event.

"We don't have the budget crisis that UNC (Chapel Hill) is facing, so there wasn't much debate," she said.

UNC-CH student government experienced a budget shortfall last semester, causing concern about how much money they can give to student groups.

ASG President Andrew Payne said he is pleased by N.C. State's donation. "We are able to cover all our expenses."

Payne said students from all 16 UNC-system schools are paying their own transportation, lowering the overall cost.

UNC-CH Student Body President Brad Matthews said the University did not plan to contribute funding to the event. "Our budget is very, very tight," Matthews said.

But Matthews said he still expected UNC-CH to have a strong student presence at the event. "There is a lot of expressed interest," he said.

Matthews said he could not estimate how many students from UNC-CH would attend the event.

Payne said he was not worried that other schools were not contributing funding for Student Day at the Capitol but called the donation from N.C. State a turning point for the event.

"N.C. State is in a unique position to be able to contribute $5,000, and they have shown strong leadership."

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