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.