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The Daily Tar Heel

Be a ?erce advocate: Medlin should focus energy on communicating impacts of tuition increases and budget cuts to students

Student Body President Hogan Medlin had an impressive campaign. Now it’s time for him to prioritize his proposals as he transitions into his new role.

He was inaugurated Tuesday evening. He now has one year to make his mark on the University.

There are two issues that deserve his immediate and utmost attention: tuition increases and budget cuts.

Neither is in his control, but both affect the collective student body more than just about anything else on campus.

It’s Medlin’s responsibility as the students’ representative to ensure that students know how they’ll be affected by both.

Town hall meetings are one of the easiest ways to make that happen. Medlin needs to use the resources he has as the head of the executive branch to present tuition and budget information to students.

He needs to make sure that the University’s feet are held to the fire. If budget cuts and tuition increases are going to hurt students, Medlin needs to show them how and why that will happen.

But Medlin should go further than information sessions.

He also needs to take an active role in policy formation. Medlin is the only student with a vote on the Board of Trustees, but his involvement with tuition and budget issues can’t stop there. He needs to mobilize students.

Former Student Body President James Allred was known for effectively mobilizing students on tuition issues. He led protests into the Board of Trustees meetings. He inserted himself into discussions that happened long before policies came to a vote.

Medlin should take a page from Allred’s book. Fighting for students needs to be priority one.

Medlin has promised much. Keeping students in the know and being an actual advocate for their interests in the face of budget cuts and tuition increases are two things on which he can and must deliver.

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