The head of the UNC system’s student leadership organization is threatening to fire any of his officers who publicly criticize it.
On Friday Atul Bhula, president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, sent an e-mail to the association’s executive officers, directing them against freely corresponding with the press and speaking negatively about the association.
In the e-mail, Bhula warns officers that endorsing student body president candidates whose platforms don’t align with the “vision” of ASG will result in dismissal.
In Atul Bhula’s e-mail:
- “If I hear anything that may hurt the credibility of ASG (such as an anti-ASG, anti-ASG’s fee, or anything to that effect ) and/or you are endorsing a candidate with such a stance, then I will have to ask you to step down from your position.”
- “I have stated in the past that I am willing to fire EOs, and I have not relaxed my position if your performance is not satisfactory or if your work and vision is not aligned with that of ASG.”
- “When dealing with the media, please be sure to get clearance from Dakota or I to answer any
The association includes delegates from all 17 UNC-system schools and is funded by $1 annually in student fees, which pays for officer stipends and travel costs to monthly meetings throughout the state.
Members of the UNC College Republicans, who are campaigning to put the University’s participation in the association to a vote, said the e-mail demonstrates how closed the association is to criticism.