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The Daily Tar Heel

1st Lobbying Class Offers Basic Data On N.C. Legislature

The class drew about 30 students, both those who are interested in lobbying and those who just need an hour of credit.

Student Body President Jen Daum, who proposed the course last month, said the class will help students understand how the state legislature's actions affect the University and its budget.

Professor Thad Beyle, the course instructor, spent most of the first class going over the basics of state legislation and answering questions. He said he was impressed by the turnout. "I think it went OK," he said. "There are some interesting questions. I just wanted to give them background on what legislatures do."

Students who attended the first class said they hoped to gain insight into the legislative process and understand how students can speak up about issues that press them. But others came for the possible one-hour credit.

Hilary Lundquist, a freshman member of the Young Democrats, said she came to the class because she thinks students should be more involved in University budget issues.

"I think that lobbying for education is important, and it's very relevant to our lives as students," Lundquist said. "I hope to learn more about how, through legislation, money is allotted to institutions and also what I can do to ensure that UNC gets all of the funds possible."

But not every student who attended the class is looking to lobby the legislature on behalf of the student body.

"I need an hour credit," said Brandy Shannon, a junior history and African-American studies major. Shannon also said she had other motives for coming to the class. "I don't know a lot about lobbying, the budget and politics in general. I'm just hoping to get some background."

Students who signed the registration form Tuesday will be added to the course. Beyle also said the Registrar's Office will assume that the students will finish the five-session requirement for credit. There will be no papers or exams.

Daum said the remaining speakers for the class will include Mark Fleming, assistant to the chancellor for government relations at N.C. State University; Peter Walz from Democracy South; Nic Heinke, former student body president; Lee Conner, former Graduate and Professional Student Federation president; and D.G. Martin, former vice president for public affairs for the UNC-system General Administration.

Student Body Vice President Aaron Hiller also said Chancellor James Moeser, who has publicly opposed the systemwide tuition increase passed by the UNC-system Board of Governors last month, will speak to the class.

Daum said students in the class are encouraged to go to Raleigh this summer to lobby the legislature about tuition hikes.

Daum said, "(I hope that students will) be more educated and better prepared to represent student interest in Raleigh."

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