Bhula, a non-voting member of the board, is yielding his three minutes of speech time to Cooper and TJ Eaves, the student body president of Western Carolina University. They will address the board before it votes on in-state tuition increases for next year.
“I get to speak at the Board of Governors meeting because of ASG,” Cooper said after the meeting. “I feel like the dollar is being put to good use.”
The association is composed of student leaders across the state and is funded by an annual $1 student fee.
Bhula said it is an inappropriate time for the resolution to be passed, as the association has been working to advocate against steep tuition hikes.
Student body presidents recently sent a letter to the board in support of Ross’ proposed 9.9 percent cap on tuition and fees increases.
But at the meeting, students voiced concerns about the association’s effectiveness.
“I’ve watched promises of reform continuously hit a brick wall, and I can no longer have faith that ASG can fix anything,” said Jeff DeLuca, UNC-CH senior and a guest speaker at the meeting.
Students will be able to vote on UNC-CH’s participation in ASG on Feb. 21 — a date that sparked a separate debate.
Marc Seelinger, who sponsored the resolution, advocated for the referendum to be placed on the Feb. 14th student body president ballot.
It would boost student turnout, he said.
And Cooper asked Student Congress for an even later date, to give students a chance to attend ASG’s next monthly meeting on Feb. 25 at UNC-Greensboro.
Association meetings are always open, Bhula said.
“ASG, in my opinion, held its best meeting in a long time this past month — where were the sponsors of the resolution?” he said in an email.
“I don’t recall ever seeing them at an ASG meeting, let alone receiving any correspondence from any of them.”
Cooper is heading a task force charged with reforming ASG, which will meet this month.
“I have enjoyed my time working with the association, and I have plans to make it better.”
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