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Members of UNC Student Congress passed a resolution Tuesday night allowing students to vote next month on whether the University should stay in the UNC-system Association of Student Governments.

ASG is an organization composed of student delegates from all 17 UNC-system schools and meets monthly to discuss student advocacy initiatives. It is funded by an annual $1 student fee.

The resolution was passed by Student Congress with a 16 to 1 vote with three abstentions. The student referendum will be on the Nov. 8 ballot, which also will have the homecoming runoff elections for Mr. and Miss UNC.

ASG President Robert Nunnery was unable to attend the vote and could not be reached for comment afterwards.

The student body president election in 2012 marked the last time students were able to vote on UNC’s place in the association, and they voted to remain in ASG by a 57.4 percent to 40.8 percent vote, according to the unofficial results.

Connor Brady, speaker of UNC Congress, decided to introduce the resolution to Congress members after several unfruitful association meetings.

UNC’s position in ASG will ultimately be decided by the system Board of Governors, but the resolution, if passed by the student body, will give delegates leverage when they go to talk to the board.

“At the end of the day, that’s what makes this organization work — students voicing their opinion,” Brady said.

UNC students will continue to pay the $1 student fee at least until July 2014, regardless of the board’s decision.

Some UNC delegates were worried more about the timing of the resolution even though they agree the referendum should be introduced.

Representative Austin Root told other members that he is particularly concerned about voter turnout because people tend to vote more in student body president elections.

“The timing weakens (the referendum) — it should be a spring question, not a fall question,” he said.

Speaker Pro Tempore of Student Congress John Guzek said while getting students to vote is important, Congress must continue discussing the ASG issue to not lose momentum.

“I think it’s crucial for us to have as large of a student voice as possible,” Guzek said at the meeting. “But the impact we’re trying to have is to start a discussion.”

Member John O’Connor agreed.

“I think by having this vote — by having this in the DTH — it will get a lot of students talking about it and let them know what’s going on,” he said at the meeting.

Advocacy for the referendum will begin as soon as Student Congress gets a referendum contact who will serve as the campaign manager for the referendum from the Board of Elections Committee, Brady said.

None of the money spent on referendum advocacy will come from student fees, he said.

While Brady said that his advocacy would be geared toward getting students to vote “yes” to leaving ASG, Student Body President Christy Lambden said he will not take a public stance on the issue.

“I don’t think it’s my job to modify the student opinion,” Lambden said.

But Student Congress members agreed that student opinion is important for moving forward on the ASG issue.

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“Regardless of how you feel, go out and vote,” Brady said.

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