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Meeting cancellation frustrates ASG

Amid discussions of organizational reform for the UNC-system Association of Student Governments, a meeting that was tentatively scheduled for this weekend was canceled.

The meeting was originally planned to discuss substantial reform to the association, said UNC-CH Student Body President Christy Lambden. It was canceled last week.

ASG, a student advocacy organization funded by an annual $1 student fee and composed of the 17 UNC-system schools, typically limits its December meetings to just student body presidents and executive officers.

ASG members have been eager to discuss reform since UNC-CH students voted — by a narrow margin — to stay in the association last month.

The student body presidents discussed fundamental alterations to the organization in two November closed-door meetings and planned to continue those talks this month.

“We’ve talked about getting rid of the general assembly concept and instead, keeping just the Council of Student Body Presidents,” said Connor Brady, speaker of UNC-CH Student Congress.

The plan, if implemented, would mean that only student body presidents would have a vote at ASG meetings. It would address student delegates’ concerns that too many people in the room can be distracting.

It’s not clear when this proposal will be discussed.

The December meeting was called off by UNC-system officials after receiving the approval of association President Robert Nunnery, said Dylan Russell, student body president of Appalachian State University.

Nunnery could not be reached for comment after multiple calls.

Russell said the meeting was canceled because it would have been held during exam week.

“On a daily basis, we have to juggle school, academics, social life and other extracurriculars,” Russell said. “To say that we couldn’t handle a meeting during this time was just demeaning.”

Russell said this is the first time all 17 student body presidents have been simultaneously interested in reforming.

Student Body President Jalynn Jones of Fayetteville State University was less worried about the cancellation. She said the meeting wasn’t announced in the original schedule and the details weren’t clear.

“I’d rather the meeting be postponed and well-organized and strategically laid out,” Jones said.

Brady said UNC-CH will lead in the implementation of plans for reform.

He said UNC-CH has discussed cutting stipends for executive officers, cutting officer positions and streamlining association procedures.

Jones said she believes the issues ASG faces are not structural problems, but people problems.

She said student body presidents should have more respect for ASG leaders, especially Nunnery and association Senior Vice President Olivia Sedwick.

“Whenever a group is overly political, it skews the purpose of why we are here,” Jones said. “It’s not really about us — it’s about our universities.”

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