Greg Doucette, who is about to step down after two one-year terms as Association of Student Governments president, is leaving behind an organization far more unified than it was two years ago.
ASG meetings this year have had full participation — representatives from every UNC-system school — at almost every meeting, but when Doucette took office in 2008, some schools were preparing to leave or had already left ASG.
Former Senior Vice President Ashley Yopp, who served in 2008-09, said Doucette’s aggressive work ethic has helped bring ASG back together.
“Under Greg’s reign we have had the highest attendance ever at meetings. He has a very aggressive style which a lot of people fought him for — but at the same time he gets everything done,” Yopp said.
The organization has struggled to prove its legitimacy to ASG delegates, student body presidents and the UNC-system Board of Governors.
ASG’s history has been tumultuous — in 2007, ASG President Cole Jones resigned after he was charged with assault (the charges were later dropped).
Cody Grasty took office in his place.
“When I took office in October, we were in turbulent waters,” Grasty said.
That year, many student body presidents dropped out of the organization and tried to influence their delegates to do the same, Grasty said.
Many other schools, while officially still involved, still had low participation.
“Coming in and trying to wrangle that back to normalcy was difficult, and I’m not going to say we did that successfully during my term, but Greg definitely has,” he said.
After taking office, Doucette and Yopp traveled to all 17 UNC-system campuses to ask students what they wanted to see from ASG .
Since taking office, Doucette has made business visits to other campuses more than 100 times. UNC-Chapel Hill alone has received 14.
“Greg knew everything about everyone. He didn’t run it as a top-down style of leadership. He ran it from the bottom up,” Yopp said.
When Doucette stepped up, UNC-Asheville was not a part of ASG.
It pulled out in 2007 because delegates felt the association wasn’t responding to the interests of the students, said Tristyn Card, who was UNC-A student body president the year the school left ASG.
“When I was going it was a socializing event,” Card said. “The leadership lacked.”
“(Doucette) always asked our input and he really made me have more respect for ASG and what it could do.”
UNC-Charlotte was also on its way out when Doucette took office. Its delegates stopped attending meetings after an unsuccessful attempt to pass a budget.
Doucette has since persuaded both the student body president and the school’s delegates to resume their participation.
Doucette said he’s faced opposition from the association many times, but that comes with the job.
“A lot of it just comes down to finding common ground,” Doucette said. “If you can’t find a compromise everyone can support, then it’s probably not something that ASG should be doing.”
Contact the State & National Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.