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UNC-system Association of Student Government prepares for new leaders

	Alex Parker

Alex Parker

RALEIGH — With only two meetings left, the UNC-system Association of Student Governments is setting up for its next administration.

The association met this weekend at N.C. State University and passed a reform bill and four resolutions. Members nominated a single ticket for president and vice president.

ASG, funded by an annual $1 student fee, is composed of student delegates from all 17 UNC-system schools.

Among the resolutions passed were: a resolution to add A-plus to the systemwide grading scale, a list of the ASG’s legislative priorities, a resolution to raise awareness of the use of Congolese conflict minerals in technology and a resolution on renewable energy.

New leadership

Alex Parker, student body president of N.C. State University, and Leigh Whittaker, student body president of UNC-Asheville, who have been friends since high school, are running uncontested next month for president and senior vice president of the association.

ASG President Robert Nunnery and Senior Vice President Olivia Sedwick had won last year’s election as write-in candidates, but Nunnery said he doesn’t foresee Parker and Whittaker losing.

Parker said he and Whittaker have already begun discussing plans for the organization if they win, which will be made public next month during the campaign.

The election will be held during the ASG’s March meeting.

Bills and resolutions passed

The highly contested A-plus resolution squeaked through the ASG’s general assembly after stalling in committee for three months.

The resolution recommends the addition of an A-plus to the systemwide grading scale, a numerical equivalent of 4.333. The overall GPA is capped at 4.0, and grading is ultimately up to the instructor’s discretion.

The Clean Energy Act, which voices the association’s support for 100 percent renewable energy in the UNC system by 2050, almost didn’t go to the floor.

But after the association heard a presentation led by Caroline Hansley of the N.C. Student Energy Network, the resolution was passed unanimously. Hansley said Duke Energy controls 83 percent of North Carolina’s energy grid, and the system spends $226 million per year on energy.

Once the resolution is introduced at the Appalachian Energy Summit on Tuesday in Greensboro, discussion of a specific plan can begin, she said.

Three months after UNC-CH almost left the association because of its organizational issues, ASG has passed a structural reform, the first in a set of reforms introduced by NCSU delegates, including Parker.

The reform passed was to consolidate the ASG’s five committees into three, and it passed 24-6 with three abstentions. Nunnery said he plans to veto the bill for wording issues and then resubmit it for the next meeting, with Parker’s support. He has 10 days to veto.

Nunnery said the committee structure was a scapegoat distracting from the real issue.

“(The issue is) delegates who seem more worried about, ‘Hey, what are you doing tonight at the bar?’ versus ‘Hey, what are you doing tonight at the committee meeting?’” he said.

Crystal Bayne, student body president of UNC-Greensboro, was one of the delegates who supported the resolution.

“We get it, everyone’s taking personal responsibility,” she said. “It’s time to pull the trigger.”

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