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The Daily Tar Heel

Since assuming the student body presidency in April, Mary Cooper has wasted little time pursuing her platform goals. After putting a face on the deep cuts to the University’s funding with a coordinated summer lobbying effort, Cooper presented ambitious plans for her “big three” platform goals.

But as last week’s October Report shows, Cooper put speed before substance in order to cross these items off her list. She has since paid the price with unexpected delays and low student involvement.

With the understanding that the executive branch’s October Report marks only a checkpoint, the editorial board has selected six points for evaluation and provided recommendations.

1. Outreach:

Cooper has redeemed herself and then some; however, with her week-long tuition forum tour. With these forums, Cooper is taking the student body’s temperature on tuition increases in preparation for the final tuition and fee advisory task force meeting next week.

2. Tuition:

Faced with millions in University budget cuts, administrators are looking to raise tuition again next year. The question is by how much? On this front, Cooper has turned to students for not only guidance, but answers. Unlike her predecessors— Jasmin Jones, Hogan Medlin and J.J. Raynor — Cooper has failed to frame the student discussion about tuition with an alternative solution. With the Monday deadline for proposals quickly approaching, Cooper’s inaction leaves little time for administrators to consider any forthcoming, student-driven plan. Her delay and lack of leadership on this front is likely to leave students paying the price next fall, as administrators shift their focus to proposals calling for record-breaking tuition increases.

3. Enrichment Fund:

Cooper deserves credit for her personal investment — but there’s still work to be done. For this program to live on, Cooper must work to ensure a more sustainable model that relies on alternative sources of funding. Cooper has already reached out to the Parents Council, but she must explore other avenues to give this program the stability it needs to last. Her and Hoover’s respective successors cannot be counted on to show the same generosity.

4. Flat-rate taxi:

5. Printing:


Cooper’s printing expansion has fared better on campus, with Alumni and Phillips halls now featuring CCI printers.

6. Cabinet:

Continuing successful programs like Medlin’s Admission Ambassadors Abroad and Jones’ Excelling Through Mentoring should be a given, but Hammill should encourage co-chairmen to aim higher.

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