The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday January 26th

Sit down and talk

Before complaining about the Association of Student Governments, UNC-CH delegates must strengthen their presence at ASG meetings.

Recently, there's been some bad blood between the UNC-system Association of Student Governments and UNC-Chapel Hill's student leaders.

UNC-CH Student Body President Matt Calabria shouldn't allow that blood to thicken. Despite his assertion that this campus would be better off doing "its own thing," the University and the ASG need each other.

Calabria wrote ASG President Amanda Devore a five-page letter detailing his complaints about the association. Devore responded with 10 pages that included rebuttals of some of Calabria's claims.

In this case, working with an organization shouldn't come to mean criticizing it from afar. Calabria and Devore should be debating potential changes to the ASG in session, remaining open to the input of delegates from other UNC-system schools.

There are legitimate concerns about how wisely ASG executives are using their time - and there are serious questions about how each dollar coming out of every full-time UNC-system student's pocket and going toward the association is being spent.

But in order for these issues to be tackled properly, both sides need to come to the table. Increased efforts to affect change in ASG meetings on the part of UNC-CH delegates should replace any possible consideration of the University pulling out.

The ASG would suffer without UNC-CH's participation. At the same time, this University will face disadvantages if it either continues not to take a true hands-on approach or further reduces its commitment.

The combination of student body presidents of the 16 UNC-system schools is undoubtedly more powerful than the voice of just one campus leader, even the one who represents the system's flagship university.

By not being more proactive and willing to assume a greater role in ASG activity, UNC-CH representatives are moving toward losing one avenue through which students on this campus can communicate with UNC-system and state officials.

As flawed as some of the ASG's funding priorities and operations might be, this campus' delegates still need to walk the walk to justify talking the talk.

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