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Members of the UNC-system Association of Student Governments introduced a resolution Saturday to support the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against North Carolina regarding recent voting laws — only to see the resolution die on the floor.

Resolution 5, which sought to affirm voting rights for all citizens, was a response to the Sept. 30 DOJ lawsuit that charged that the state’s voting laws intentionally disenfranchised minority groups.

Some members pointed out that college students are also vulnerable to the law. Starting in 2016, photo IDs will be required to vote, but university-issued IDs will not suffice. The new law also shortens the early voting period by a week and eliminates same-day registration.

The association, which is funded by a $1 annual student fee, met at UNC-CH. The group is composed of student delegates from across the UNC system and meets monthly at different campuses.

In August, the association had passed a resolution to show support for keeping on-campus voting accessible, but a lack of action on Resolution 5 raised questions from some members, including UNC-CH Student Body President Christy Lambden, about the association’s effectiveness.

“It was an absolute travesty,” Lambden said after the meeting. “We are, as student representatives, there to advocate for students, and the association failed to do so.”

The resolution, drafted by Lambden and fellow student body presidents Alex Parker of N.C. State University and Dylan Russell of Appalachian State University, was hastily introduced Saturday, requiring a suspension of ASG rules to discuss it. But the motion to suspend the rules failed to pass 18 to 14.

Some members, including ASG Senior Vice President Olivia Sedwick, said the resolution could have been more successful as a critical letter open to the public.

“To me, the format was more of a hinderance than anything,” Sedwick said.

ASG President Robert Nunnery said some delegates might have wanted to discuss the resolution with their on-campus superiors before voting.

Still, Lambden, Russell and some other voters agreed that concerns about the bill could have been addressed in assembly and that killing the motion prevented Resolution 5 from being discussed at all.

“This organization spent over $3,000 on bringing this (meeting) together,” Lambden said. “For us to achieve nothing is a disservice to students.”

At the meeting, members also discussed advocacy initiatives — including a trip to Washington, D.C., which was postponed partially due to the government shutdown — and appropriation of money for a just-created professional advisor position.

At the end of the meeting, Fayetteville State University Student Body President Jalynn Jones criticized what she saw as the delegates’ unprofessionalism and the lack of progress at meetings despite their length and cost.

Nunnery said ASG leaders managed to reduce this meeting’s cost by not offering hotel rooms to schools less than two-and-a-half hours away, and reducing the duration of stay from two nights to one night.

“(The meeting) had a full-packed agenda, but the cost was dramatically low,” he said.

But many delegates said they are still frustrated.

“I’m disappointed that I came here — on my fall break — and we didn’t even have an open dialogue about news that’s affecting students,” said UNC-Asheville Student Body President Leigh Whittaker.

state@dailytarheel.com

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